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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Public Library Discriminates against Mother with Hungry Baby

They will not be moved and they refuse to cover up their nursing babies.

On August 16, 2006 at 10:00am, a group of concerned moms will protest at the Longwood Public Library located in Middle Island, N.Y. in an effort to have their legal rights recognized by staff members and the Suffolk County library system as a whole.

The Nurse-in was prompted by an incident that happened earlier in the summer when a mom was asked to leave a children's program to go elsewhere and nurse her 10 month old daughter. She refused and finished watching the program. When she brought the incident to the attention of the library's director, she was met with threats, hostility, and a blatant disregard for her legal rights.

On Friday June 30, 2006, Keri B. Neary-Wood and Kristen Ferrara were attending a children's program, at the Longwood Public Library . During the program Neary-Wood was interrupted by a library staff member and asked to cover up her nursing infant. When Neary-wood said no, she was asked to use a quiet room downstairs because another patron had complained. In an effort to educate the staff member, Neary-Wood informed her of New York State law § 79-E. Right To Breast Feed, which states that,
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her
baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding. NY CLS Civ R § 79-e (Article 7 Miscellaneous Provisions). 1994 N.Y. ALS 98; 1994 N.Y. LAWS 98; 1994 N.Y. S.N. 3999

Following the Children's Program, this incident was brought to the attention of library director, Mr. Clemens, by Neary-Wood and Ferrara in an effort to educate the library staff of Nursing Mothers' Legal rights. When told of the Law, Clemens responded by stating, "We don't have to listen [to the law]. We have to be considerate of all people here and if people are complaining [about you nursing], then we can tell you to leave."

All major health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and UNICEF agree that Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to nurture a child. However, the nursing rates in the United States fall far below the goals set by Healthy People 2010. One of the leading reasons why more women don't breastfeed is the lack of societal support in our culture.
 
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