We’ve written in these pages before about the wrath that breastfeeding mothers incur on a seemingly daily basis. Like it or not, for some women, breastfeeding is part and parcel of being a new mother. And whether you’ve lost your job or you’ve been prevented from taking the LSAT, sometimes the discrimination that these women face just seems downright unfair.
So what happens when you’re a breastfeeding mother but life just isn’t cooperating with you? What happens when you have to start nursing in a public place, and that place just so happens to be a courtroom?
Here’s what one judge has to say about whipping out a boob in public….
Last week, while waiting in a court in Michigan to fight a boating ticket — one that had already earned her a bench warrant — Natalie Hegedus began to nurse her five-month-old son. Hegedus is a card-carrying member of the “whenever and wherever” breastfeeding club, and apparently she didn’t think it was that big of a deal to give her son a boobie-bottle in court.
Normally, this act would not have been so controversial. Sure, maybe nursing your kid in a courtroom isn’t the brightest of ideas (okay, fine, it’s a really bad idea), but public breastfeeding is exempt from public indecency laws in Michigan.
On this day, however, Hegedus’s case was called while her son was still busy slurping his mother’s milk. And rather than pulling her teat from her child’s mouth, it seems that Hegedus thought it would be a good idea to go before Judge Robert Hentchel while still in the act of nursing.
WWMT Newschannel 3 has more on what happened next:
In the court transcript, Hentchel says “You think that’s appropriate in here?”
Hegedus responds “[I]t’s not [against the law], I have to feed my son,” and Hentchel says “Ma’am, it’s my courtroom, I decide what’s appropriate in here. [C]ome on up, okay? You have to understand that a judge — the laws don’t apply in a courtroom. [T]he judge’s law applies, do you understand that?
Unsurprisingly, Hegedus has contacted several attorneys. A copy of the transcript is available here. But do you see that, lawyers? For future reference, the laws don’t apply in a courtroom. We dare you to make that argument next time you’re before the bench and see how it goes.
At the end of the day, the real argument here seems to be over who is the bigger boob. Is it Hegedus for milking herself in public, or Hentchel for stating that “laws don’t apply in a courtroom”? Although Judge Hentchel’s declaration makes him sound a bit daft, Hegedus should’ve known that Michigan isn’t one of the 45 states that allows women to breastfeed anytime and anywhere.
Hegedus may have cried and felt humiliated, but it was really her own fault. Moral of the story? Sorry ladies, but tough titties.
Mother says judge humiliated her for breastfeeding in court [WWMT News Channel 3]
Breastfeeding in court up to judge [WOOD TV 8]
Public Breastfeeding May Be Legal in Mich., But It’s Not OK in My Court, Judge Reportedly Told Mom [ABA Journal]