North Dakota has become ground zero in a debate over breastfeeding, somewhat ironic since the state passed a law to protect mothers breastfeeding in public.
But, as is often the case, the law was crafted in a sloppy manner, protecting women who “act in a discreet and modest manner,” but not defining what is discreet and modest.
That leaves it to the likes of a Chick-fil-A owner in Fargo who kicked a woman out on Saturday, the Fargo Forum says.
The mother says she was abiding by the state law. The franchise says otherwise.
Macy Hornung, of Fargo, experienced firsthand the issues with the North Dakota law’s interpretation when she and her husband, Casey, took their two children — Silas, 3, and Ziggy, 7 months — to a pre-opening event at the new Chick-fil-A near West Acres Shopping Center on Saturday night.
When they arrived at the restaurant, it was crowded. Hornung ordered a chicken sandwich, while her husband and son ordered chicken nuggets. They were nearly finished eating when her daughter decided she wanted to nurse.
“I figure it’s a public place, but I have my rights behind me,” Hornung said. “I have breast-fed all over Fargo-Moorhead without incident. I didn’t even think about it.”
Hornung says her daughter will not tolerate being covered by a blanket while nursing. She will claw her. She will flail around. Instead, Hornung positions her daughter’s head so that it hides her breast from view. Hornung said no nipple was visible and that her daughter’s head covered most of her breast.
“I wasn’t showing as much as you see in a normal bathing suit,” she said.
Kimberly Flamm, the franchise owner, has apologized on Facebook for telling the mother she had to cover her breast or leave.
“I would like to publicly apologize to Macy Hornung for the way I handled the situation on Saturday,” she wrote. “I ask for your forgiveness on this matter as I learn from it. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all my guests.”
I would like to publicly apologize to Macy Hornung for the way I handled the situation on Saturday. I ask for your…
“I feel it was more of a media apology,” Hornung tells the newspaper. “I don’t know how sincere it is. I was hoping she would at least respond to my comment, private message me or something, to initiate a conversation rather than just make a public apology. She hasn’t responded at all.”
The Minnesota breastfeeding law is more clear. There’s no language like modest and discreet in it. If you don’t like a mother breastfeeding in public, you get to leave.