Moms protest for breastfeeding rights

Dozens of women urge Georgia lawmakers to change rules

WOODBINE, Ga. - Mothers across Georgia are taking a stand by urging lawmakers to change the rules about breastfeeding in public.

Dozens of women held a statewide nurse-in Monday from Woodbine to Atlanta, breastfeeding their babies for all to see.

Breastfeeding mother Jessica Williams said she wants to prove nursing is natural. The mother of four said she's put up with stares for years, but she feels she shouldn't have to hide behind closed doors.

"It's annoying actually, and it's irritating to see people, and it makes you want to be able to educate people and discuss it more in public," Williams said.

Williams sat outside the Camden County courthouse Monday with nearly a dozen other moms participating in the nurse-in.

The mothers said they were openly expressing a part of motherhood they feel shouldn't be suppressed. Their efforts attracted some attention.

"I was looking out the window and I was like, 'Are they doing what I think they're doing?'" bystander Quinton Dawson said. "They were, but I don't see nothing wrong with it though."

The moms say breastfeeding in public is no different from people eating in public. They say adults and children do it, so why can't babies?

"If we can eat at a table, why can't a mother feed her baby at a table?" breastfeeding supporter Lauren Dickens said.

The moms say they fear they could be arrested for indecent exposure under Georgia's current laws, so they're fighting for stricter laws to protect their rights.

In the Peach State, moms are permitted to nurse in public, but the mothers' concern is that the rules are not clear enough to exempt them from claims of lewd behavior.

"We're hoping people see it and see it as a normal everyday occurrence," Williams said.

The mothers said they're hopeful lawmakers will take notice and the laws will change, but in the meantime, they say nothing will stop them from nurturing their children whenever and wherever they need to.

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