Nursing Moms Stage "Nurse-In" - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/4/08

Nursing Moms Stage "Nurse-In"

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The right to feed...that's the point more than 30 nursing moms were trying to get across Friday night as they breast fed their babies together in a group at the Buddy Holly Center.

Friday night's nurse-in was staged after the center banned a piece of art showing a mother breast-feeding her baby a couple weeks ago.

The city has since apologized and invited the artist to show her work at the Buddy Holly Center.

Friday, nursing moms came out to applaud the city's decision and also to exercise a right they say is acceptable under Texas law.

"A total surprise. It wasn't a big deal," says Annie Harrison, who posed for the artwork.

When Annie Harrison posed with her newborn daughter Samantha for a painting, she had no idea she would become the center of a controversy.

"It caused all this uproar two paintings about womanhood," says Lahib Jaddo, the artist.

But the City of Lubbock banned these two paintings by Jaddo from being displayed at the Buddy Holly Center. Days later, city leaders apologized and invited Jaddo to show her work.

At the First Friday Art Trail, Jaddo and Harrison, along with dozens of other nursing moms, came to applaud the city's decision and to make a point.

"We are not trying to expose ourselves. We are talking about the right to feed," says Jaddo.

"It's what our breasts were made for. Look the other way if you don't like it," says Holly Hughes, a nursing mom.

Organizers with the American Civil Liberties Union say the banned artwork was another example of discrimination nursing mothers experience on a daily basis.

"Statutorily these women are doing what is legal and is their absolute right," says Vince Gonzalez, with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Others attending the First Friday Art Trail didn't seem to mind the live display.

"I think it's a perfectly natural thing," says one attendee.

"It's a beautiful thing between a mom and her child," says another.

As for people who are bothered by public breast feeding, nursing moms have a simple message - "get over it."

"I don't feel like it's something I should have to hide. It's not Mardi Gras, this is what I am supposed to do for her," says Eflix Phillips, a nursing mom.

Organizers with the American Civil Liberties Union say the City of Lubbock was supportive of Fridays nurse-in. The city placed chairs throughout the center for the moms to nurse in and also provided breastfeeding friendly food.

As for Jaddo's artwork, the center is working out an agreement for when it will be displayed.

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