Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Congressman fed up that babies can't nurse in public Tuesday, February 4, 2003,

"When the time comes for Sarah Nickell to breast-feed her 4 1/2 -month-old daughter, Madeline, in public, the first-time mom finds herself breaking into a sweat.

"I have this feeling of uncertainty whenever I go out in public," Nickell, 27, said. "You just never know when it's going to be acceptable or not."

Nickell's panic attacks may soon be put to rest with the help of a state lawmaker who is pushing a bill through the House to allow women to breast-feed in public." [I'm torn. We shouldn't need laws like this. On the other hand, this bill will amend the indecency law on the books that states women who breastfeed in public can be charged. - JC]

Freshman Rep. David Orentlicher, D-Indianapolis, said he sponsored the bill after hearing women tell him they felt uncomfortable nursing their children outside of the home.

"It's hard for these mothers because, sometimes, they need to feed every hour and they can't always be in their homes to do it," Orentlicher said. "This is a way to let people know breast-feeding in public is acceptable, it's what's best for the child and should be allowed."

Orentlicher's bill proposes an amendment to the state's current public indecency bill, which states that women who breast-feed in public may face disciplinary action for appearing in a state of nudity.

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