France Came Up With a Law to Protect Women Who Breastfeed in Public

Breast milk is essential for infants, studies say. Breastfed babies have stronger immune systems, lower illness rates, and fewer hospitalizations. However, breastfeeding continues to be a controversial issue. Women breastfeeding in public are subjected to judgment and insults.

We at Bright Side want to share a law the French government recently passed that will protect women who choose to breastfeed in public.

The new law will fine breastfeeding obstructors.

Earlier, France had no law concerning breastfeeding in public places. Although there was no direct restriction, women still were facing negativity while breastfeeding in public. But now it seems like that’s starting to change. The National Assembly of France has recently proposed the establishment of a law that will punish those who obstruct breastfeeding. The law will treat the attempt to prevent a woman from breastfeeding as an offense and slam offenders with a fine of €1,500 ($1,780).

The law was crucial for women’s safety.

The necessity to establish this law became clear after another unpleasant incident recently happened to a mother breastfeeding publicly while waiting in line. She was breastfeeding her baby and got insulted by a woman who was also standing in the line. The mother, Maÿlis, found the courage and strength to speak out about her experience online. Her story went viral and pushed the government to take action on the issue.

It aims to change the way breastfeeding is treated.

The law strives to bring positive changes to the way people see breastfeeding and treat breastfeeding mothers. The government is about to train people who work in public places according to this new law. “Increasing awareness and training people who work in public places is also important,” says one of the law proposers.

However, the law protects more than those who work in public places but also society as a whole. It will make clear that breastfeeding is not indecent exposure. “It is a shame to have to write this, but that is almost systematically what [breastfeeding] women are accused of,” she says.

Many people also support public breastfeeding.

  • My opinion is that no opinion is needed. Next to breathing, eating is the most common of human experiences. It’s no more shocking to watch a baby eat than to watch a grown adult enjoy a burger. And babies get hungry more frequently than adults. © Craig Good / Quora
  • They are doing something completely natural and it’s what breasts are intended for. I don’t feel women should have to cover so I feel no animosity toward a woman who doesn’t cover. I mean really, would you want to eat with a blanket over your head? Or wear a blanket in the heat of summer? I mean, couldn’t that become a health hazard of overheating?
    I have more of a problem with people who can’t leave a woman alone that is doing nothing but feeding her baby. © Rachel Powell / Quora
  • I think that every woman should be able to do it freely, without feeling embarrassed or awkward about it or being interrupted. Feeding her child is much more important than the opinion of socially inept individuals. © Carlos López / Quora

Do you support public breastfeeding?

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