This past Saturday, September 29th, 2012, sit-ins by nursing mothers were held all over the US in response to a September 15th incident at an Applebee’s in Covington, Georgia. Dawn Holland was breastfeeding her 20-month-old son at a table in the restaurant when a manager asked her to leave and go nurse in the bathroom. When she refused, the manager called the police. Applebee’s has since apologized.
Forty-five states, including Georgia, protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Only 11 of these states, however, have an enforcement clause. What this means is that even in states with laws protecting breastfeeding, a woman has no legal recourse if she is harassed.
This is the second high-profile nursing in public incident in an Applebee’s; the last one five years ago. Last December, a nurse-in was held at a Houston area Target in response to Michelle Hickman being asked to breastfeed in the dressing room there.