Forest Park, Georgia has a newly passed city ordinance that bans breastfeeding in public of children over the age of 2. The city says it's needed to try and limit public nudity.
I always find it hilarious the way the minds of some work. Breasts on display are perfectly acceptable if you are walking around with a shirt cut down to there. But using them the way nature intended is considered offensive.
Georgia already has pathetic statistics on breastfeeding. According to Kaiser State Health Facts, Georigians breast feed at a rate far below the national average (64.8 vs 75%). By the time a child is a year old, that rate drops to 17.9% versus 22.4%.
There is no disputing the health benefits of breastfeeding. I know that there are also reasons that some women either can't or choose not to breast feed. But in an era that is espousing an overhaul in healthcare and supposedly touting the need for a healthier life style, does it make sense to put restrictions on breastfeeding?
Is the ban even really needed. I haven't been able to find a reliable statistic, but how many people are still breast feeding their child at 2 years old? I assume it's far less than were doing it at 1. For laughs, let's assume the rate is 50% of the 1 year rate. That would put the rate at approximately 9% or less than 1 in 10 women in Georgia. Now, let's look at the population of Forest Park. A 2008 Census estimate put the population at approximately 22,000. Let's say half are women. So of 11,000 women, how many are of child bearing age? Let's be really generous and say half. Now we are down to 5500. Of that 5500, how many have a child of breast feeding ages at any given time? Again, let's be generous and say 50% again. That brings it down to 2750. If a generous 9% were still breast feeding a 2 year old child, that would be about 247 women.
Is a law aimed at 1.1% of the population really necessary? Are the other 98.9 so traumatically effected by the sight of a woman breast feeding in public that Police Officers need to be on the look out for the offending parties?
Really? Seems like in a time of budget crunches, tax dollars could be much better spent somewhere else.
BTW- It's still perfectly acceptable to wear your pants down to your butt crack and wear a shirt that's cut down to your navel in Forest Park.
Just don't breast feed.