Yesterday moms in Forest Park, Georgia held a "nurse-in" at City Hall to protest a new indecency ordinance that makes publicly breastfeeding a child over two a crime. You see, while revealing yourself to feed a one-year-old is natural, showing the same breast a year later is suddenly lewd.
WXIA Atlanta reports that about 200 women showed up for the protest. The city is being sued by a strip club owner, and his attorney claims the town's nudity ordinance was beefed up in response to the suit. Jessica Lister, the organizer of the nurse-in, said, "Breastfeeding women have to take a stand against laws like this or the laws will become even worse. Next, they'll say you can only nurse infants up to the age of one."
City Manager John Parker says the ordinance will be reviewed and could be revised in two weeks, but points out that the new law uses the same langage as the nearby city of Griffin and DeKalb County. There's one line in the law banning lewd acts in public places that says women breastfeeding infants "under the age of two" are exempt. In response, Lister said Georgia law doesn't put an age limit on breastfeeding, and added that she might organize protests in other areas of the state that do.
It's possible that the line was thrown in to make it clear that the city won't tolerate adults sucking on each other's boobs in public any longer. City leaders deserve credit for opening their minds to kinkier sex practices, but we're guessing no one's ever been arrested in Forest Park for a public sex act involving the consumption of breast milk.
In all likelihood the two-year-old limit was added because a lawmaker who's never given birth assumed that's when most kids have stopped breastfeeding. It's true that not as many children are breast fed after that age. Among children born in 2007, only 7% were still breastfeeding at 18 months, when the C.D.C. stops tracking breastfeeding. Yet, even if it's less common, there's no reason to ban breastfeeding older toddlers. It promotes the idea that breastfeeding is strange and shameful, and police officers have better things to do than interrogating breastfeeding moms about whether their child is 23 or 26-months-old.