Simone dos Santos, Breastfeeding Mom Accused Of Indecent Exposure
Yet another mom has been shamed for feeding her baby. Simone dos Santos was breastfeeding her four-month-old in the hallway of a D.C. government building when two female security guards told her to stop because it was indecent, ABC7 reports.
Dos Santos was waiting for a traffic hearing and stepped out into the hallway to breastfeed when the guards approached her, though she was covering her baby with a jacket.
"I was shocked, upset and angry that by providing food for my son, I was being treated like a criminal," she wrote in a blog post for the Washington Post.
A lawyer herself, dos Santos knew that legally she had rights -- 28 states as well as D.C. exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.
"I called my law firm to ask for pro bono assistance and an associate who could immediately research whether there was a law regarding breastfeeding in public. I wanted to get the name of all of the guards involved, and finally got a name and number of a supervisor before I was called into the room for the hearing on the parking ticket.
I’ve since learned that the guards were completely wrong and had no right to stop me from nursing my infant son. In 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) signed into law the 'Child's Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007' (Bill B17-0133) that was approved unanimously by the D.C. Council."
Dos Santos has filed a complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the case is under investigation. In the meantime, she wants her message to be heard:
"We as nursing women have rights. It's a natural, legally protected process and people need to understand that," she told ABC7.
Additionally, she wants better training for the guards -- and an apology.
This story is (unfortunately) not unique. Click through below to see other places where women have been reprimanded for breastfeeding: