Nirvana Jennette, a mom of four from Camden County, Georgia says she was forced out of church for breastfeeding her baby. Church leaders asked her to breastfeed in the bathroom and implied they could have arrested her for “lewd behavior.” The most egregious statement? She told news station WSAV that her pastor compared her breastfeeding to a stripper performing.
According to Fox 30 WAWS, although Georgia state law allows a mother to nurse her child anywhere, Jennette could face public indecency charges. She wants her message to be heard loud and clear -- breastfeeding is natural and moms who want to feed their children in public should be protected. To that end, she's decided to stage a nurse-in and is seeking to establish legislative change for the State of Georgia.
(This story has been updated. Scroll down for new information.)
On March 5th, Jennette will stage the "Georgia Statewide Nurse-In" at the Woodbine Courthouse and is calling for moms and supporters to join her via Facebook. Nurse-in protests are becoming much more common -- recently, moms breastfed in front of Facebook's headquarters after nursing photos were wrongfully removed from the social network. And after mom, Michelle Hickman, was shamed for breastfeeding at a Target store, she organized a nationwide nurse-in that took place in several retail locations.
The Georgia Statewide Nurse-In, aims not only to spread awareness and support for breastfeeding moms, but to change the law. As Jennette writes in her petition letter:
Currently Georgia state law allows a mother to nurse her child anywhere that mother and child have permission to be, but there is no enforcement provision. A law without enforcement protects no one. New legislation would provide for civil action against anyone subjecting a nursing mother to harassment or discrimination in violation of the current state breastfeeding law, as well as protection from all indecent exposure laws.
She insists that the law be changed and says, "We will not stop until they are."
According to Jennette's Facebook page, her cause has even been recognized by Oprah. When the queen of daytime television was in Georgia for Lovetown, USA, (a TV show on the OWN network) she was photographed holding the Georgia Statewide Nurse-In flyer.
Dozens of moms participated in the Georgia Statewide Nurse-In on Monday, March 5th, in Atlanta, Woodbine and other cities throughout the state. According to News4Georgia.com, "The mothers said they're hopeful lawmakers will take notice and the laws will change, but in the meantime, they say nothing will stop them from nurturing their children whenever and wherever they need to."