Civil Rights

Mom Sues, Says Deputy Broke Law OKing Public Breast-Feeding by Sending Her to Courthouse Bathroom


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LIke a growing number of states, Illinois has a law that expressly allows mothers to breast-feed their babies in public, even if they do so in a manner that others deem to be immodest.

But a suburban Chicago mom says news of the Right to Breastfeed Act apparently hasn’t reached the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. On April 18, contends Natalie Petrovic in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, a sheriff’s deputy at the Municipal Courthouse in Skokie told her to breast-feed her 7-week-old daughter in a courthouse bathroom, even though the baby was covered with a blanket as Petrovic nursed her in a lobby area, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“It got me really frustrated that this woman, she’s a sheriff’s [deputy] and she didn’t know what people’s rights are,” the 21-year-old told the newspaper on Wednesday evening, after filing her Cook County Circuit Court suit against the county and Sheriff Tom Dart.

It seeks an injunction requiring the defendants to comply with the law and attorney’s fees.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Courthouse ‘Nurse-In’ Planned in Support of Mom with Nursing Baby Called Out by Judge”

ABAJournal.com: “Breast-Feeding Woman Booted from Plane Wins Secret Delta Settlement, 2 Other Carriers to Pay $20K”

ABAJournal.com: “Federal Breast-Feeding Law Creates Challenges for Businesses”

ABAJournal.com: “Moms Plan Nurse-In on National Mall in Washington, DC”

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