There’ll be more than art on display at the Hirshhorn on Saturday.
From 10 a.m. until noon, breastfeeding moms—-and their babies—-will be taking part in a “nurse-in.” The protest comes in response to an incident at the end of January, when a nursing mother was told by two security guards she couldn’t nurse publicly in the museum, in violation of D.C. and federal law (La Leche’s got a good compendium of breastfeeding laws on its website).
The museum has since apologized for the incident—-over and over on its Facebook page, as well as personally to the original kicked-out nursing mother—-but the event’s organizer, Rockville mom LJ Pelham, says the nurse-in will go on.
“The problem happened because of a lack of awareness of the law, and a lack of awareness of the policies,” says Pelham. “And so I view this as a need—-an opportunity—-to raise awareness about breastfeeding in public, about the laws that we have that support that. There has been a lot of debate about whether the nurse-in is the appropriate response, or whether it will harm breastfeeding. Here’s my take on that. My thought is that this is not an angry group of breastfeeding moms convening on the Hirshhorn museum to shake our fists in righteous indignation. I think that would be so counter-productive, and also an inappropriate response. This really is about raising awareness about what the rights are. This is not an angry protest. Just a campaign for awareness.”
Find out more on the event’s Facebook page.