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June 13, 2007

The "Right" to Breast Feed in Public

We've been through this before, only a couple of weeks ago. As there is no law barring women from breast feeding their babies in public the right to do so already exists. We have the right to do anything which is not expressly forbidden, that's the point of our legal system.

So quite why there has to be a new law granting a right that is already extant is a little puzzling. Perhaps this helps?

“When we have spoken to women, they have said they are often made to feel embarrassed about feeding in public, so we want to encourage them to do it by making them feel at ease."

That's an interesting use of the law don't you think? To reduce embarassment? Think it will work?

June 13, 2007 in Law | Permalink

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Comments

"....quite why there has to be a new law granting a right that is already extant is a little puzzling.."

Because passing useless, unenforcable or illiberal laws is what this Government does....

Posted by: JuliaM | Jun 13, 2007 10:43:31 AM

they are steadily trying to impose the napoleonic system; everything is banned unless there is a law saying it isn't. Fantastic scheme for employing lawyers

Posted by: MARK T | Jun 13, 2007 10:55:12 AM

As it happens, I rather think that it will be beneficial in practice, as a specific provision is generally needed to get the employers of oafish security guards to add a clause to the instructions they give their automata to not harass breast-feeding mothers.

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | Jun 13, 2007 11:51:36 AM

How I dislike these laws (hate crime laws are another example) which are designed to advertize the superior moral sensibilities of our rulers.

Posted by: Bruce G Charlton | Jun 13, 2007 11:52:35 AM

"...a specific provision is generally needed to get the employers of oafish security guards to add a clause to the instructions they give their automata to not harass breast-feeding mothers.."

Because this is a problem with regard to 'security guards' in general...?

Why do you believe so (apart from assuming them all to be 'oafish', which I think speaks a lot about you)?

Posted by: JuliaM | Jun 13, 2007 12:30:51 PM

This is entirely consistent with the new understanding of law. The purpose of making a law is to "send a message". Which teacher on prayer said that every moment of every day brings a message from God, if only we are attentive (St Alphonsus? Pere Grou? Br. Lawrence?). Now every moment of every day brings us a message from the Government about how to live and how to think.

Posted by: Little Black Sambo | Jun 13, 2007 1:26:27 PM

The point, surely, is to add brestfeeding mothers to the list of protected classes against which it is illegal to discriminate.

It is already perfectly OK to breastfeed in public, but it's also OK for shops, cafes etc. to ask breastfeeding mothers to leave.

Under the new law, it will be just as illegal to ask a woman to leave your shop because she's breastfeeding as it would be to ask her to leave because she was black. So it does actually change the legal situation - it's not just a no-op.

[Sidenote: several US states have introduced laws explicitly allowing breastfeeding to prevent breastfeeding mothers from being prosecuted for indecent exposure. The UK has less of an absurt puritannical streak, so it's less likely that a breastfeeding woman would run the risk of a criminal charge for a brief flash of nipple...]

Posted by: Sam | Jun 13, 2007 6:46:16 PM