Three Delaware women say they were kicked out of a Hollister store for breastfeeding their children there on Sunday.
Diana Hitchens, Autumne Murray and Jessica Hitchens say they had been staging a nurse-in in defense of another mother in Texas who had been asked to leave a Hollister store for breastfeeding. The Delaware "lactivists" carried posters which read, “Hey Hollister, my baby has a right to eat. It’s the law,” and “Normalize breastfeeding in public. Do you eat in public? Why shouldn’t our babies?”
Shortly after they began nursing, the women were approached by two mall security guards who asked them to leave or cover up. An argument flared up between the moms and security, after which the guards left. They returned with a Delaware State Trooper who was on routine patrol.
“He was asking if we were exposing ourselves saying that the security guards said we were exposing ourselves and that we could be kicked out of the mall if we didn’t cover up,” Murray told a local NBC affiliate.
The two security officers involved in the incident have since been removed from their positions pending an investigation.
One Facebook member used the name “Concord Mall” to post a photo of the nurse-in and call the breastfeeding moms “an eyesore.” The Concord Mall’s operations manager denied that the post came from a Concord Mall representative, stating that they do not have an official Facebook page.
“The Concord Mall has never had an issue with any mother breastfeeding her children in the Mall and intends to fully comply with the law permitting this activity," The mall's management said in a statement. "We apologize to our customers and tenants and the protesters for any inconvenience this situation may have caused. The Concord Mall is making every effort to properly train all officers regarding a mother’s right to breastfeed her child."
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