NYC Cops Fine Woman $115 For Daring To Breastfeed Her Baby
Health professionals all agree that breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy way for a mother to nourish her baby. Therefore, most people have no real problem with public breastfeeding, and it is legal in most places. However, this did not seem to apply to a New York City woman who was breastfeeding her baby in a car.
Guillermina Rodriguez was unfortunate enough to be in one of Manhattan’s notorious traffic jams with her 3-month-old baby. It was time for the baby to eat, and anyone who has ever driven or ridden in a vehicle in New York City knows that these traffic jams can sometimes last for hours. Likely, Ms. Rodriguez knew this as well. So, she decided to feed her baby right there in her pulled over car while waiting for the traffic to clear.
A police officer and a tow truck driver were first going to move Rodriguez’s car by force but then gave her a $115 ticket instead. Rodriguez said to WABC-TV:
“I’m like almost crying because she’s crying, and all I want to do is pull over so I can tend to her.”
“I showed him the baby and obviously my breast. I’m like, ‘I’m breast-feeding the baby.’ He looks and then he just puts the ticket down, and he walks away.”
Rodriguez advocated for herself by going to a breastfeeding rights organization and telling them what happened to her. A spokesperson for La Leche League, Laura Beth Gilman, said:
“As a society, we need to hear babies crying and answer them. And I don’t think she deserves a ticket for that.”
“I think she deserves understanding, and the police officer should have said, ‘Sure, I’ll give you a couple of minutes.”
Apparently, it is somehow illegal or inappropriate to feed a baby in public in the most natural way possible. But, with the attention this is getting, perhaps there will be recourse for Guillermina Rodriguez and she ultimately will not have to pay this ticket.