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Mothers Protest Woman's Removal from Flight for Breast-Feeding

Mothers, fathers, and children gathered at 30 airports around the country yesterday to protest Delta Airlines� removal of a mother from a flight last month for breast-feeding prior to take-off. Emily Gillette was flying from Burlington, Vermont to New York when a flight attendant asked her and her family to disembark from the plane after Gillette refused to cover the baby�s head while breast-feeding. Gillette was sitting in a window seat with her husband on the aisle to afford some privacy. According to Gillette�s lawyer, the flight attendant told Gillette, "You need to cover up. You are offending me," the Washington Post reports.

Protesters staged a "nurse-in" yesterday at airports across the country by gathering in airport terminals and openly breast-feeding. Some carried signs with slogans such as "Best in-flight meal ever," "Don't be lactose intolerant," and "Breasts � not just for selling cars anymore," the Associated Press reports. The activists were trying to "show people that breast-feeding is completely normal," according to one mother quoted in the Washington Post, as well as highlight the importance of mother-friendly airline policies and federal legislation supportive of nursing mothers, such as the legal right to breast-feed in public.

Said one protester about the demonstration: "It's about raising consciousness about our culture�s sexualization of the breast. Breast-feeding needs to be supported wherever and whenever it happens," reported the Associated Press. Currently, all but twelve states have laws protecting a woman�s right to breast-feed in public, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Media Resources: Associated Press 11/22/06; Los Angeles Times 11/22/06; Washington Post 11/22/06