Letter: Law allows breast-feeding ‘anywhere the law allows her to be’

From: Jessie Thomas

Beaverton, Oregon (formerly of Columbus)

I was disappointed to read the Onion submitted for May 20, which read, “Onions to women who feel the need to breast-feed in a coffee shop,” and even more disappointed in The Republic for publishing it.

Indiana Code 16-35-6 allows a woman to breast-feed her child anywhere the law allows her to be. Beyond state law, it’s a baby’s human right to eat when he’s hungry. Additionally, breast-feeding is good for all of society because of reduced medical costs, lower environmental impacts and the simple benefit of enjoying your coffee in peace instead of being interrupted by a hungry, crying baby.

Breast is not “best”; breast is normal. It’s the way the human race has been sustained since the beginning of our history. Unfortunately, recent history has seen a reduction in breast-feeding rates due to a lack of information and support and the sexualization of breasts in the media.

Happily, many mothers nurse their babies in public despite criticism. Each time they do so, not only do they provide their babies with nutrition, comfort and love, they also make the way a little easier for the generations of mothers that will follow their example. So the next time you see a mother breast-feeding, smile, give her a thumbs up or just go on about your day. After all, that’s what she and her baby are trying to do.