Breast-feeding protest planned Saturday at D.C. museum

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Dozens of breast-feeding women plan to descend on the Hirshhorn Museum on Saturday for a “nurse-in” to highlight their federally protected right to nourish their babies in public.

The cause of the grass-roots gathering of lactivists: A Jan. 30 incident involving Noriko Aita, who was nursing her daughter on a bench in the Hirshhorn when she was informed by a Smithsonian security guard that she would have to move to the women’s restroom.


“I was shocked,” Aita said Tuesday as her 11-month-old, Elaine, chattered away. “What’s wrong with nursing? But I wasn’t sure of my rights and the law, so I told my husband: ‘Let’s just go home.’ ”

There, Aita jumped online and learned of the Right to Breastfeed Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1999 as part of an appropriations bill. The law ensures a woman’s right to breast-feed her child on any federal property where she and her infant are otherwise permitted.

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