Welcome moms! Bordas & Bordas is very proud of Stacy Bordas' popular article below -- many thousands of people have been kind enough to read it and comment on it over the past week and the breasfeeding bill is progressing in the Legislature. We wanted to mention, particularly for people interested in motherhood issues, other pieces we've published on how the time flies and paying tribute the incredibly challenging work moms do. One of our paralegals, Darcy Springer, wrote an article about being a grandmother and attorney Jay Stoneking wrote one for all the dads and grandads out there, too.
Welcome, enjoy and stop back again!
Recently, a great deal of attention has been given to breastfeeding laws, and as most mothers will tell you, rightly so. The spectrum of opinions reaches all the way from whether or not you can be prosecuted for indecent exposure because of breastfeeding in public, to what rights you have to nurse your child in a public place, all the way to the passing of Child Rights Laws. What rights, if any, do West Virginia mothers have to publicly breastfeed their child? What laws are broken, if any, by publicly breastfeeding in WV?
I recall during my first semester of law school we were given the topic of whether or not breastfeeding in public should be deemed indecent exposure under WV Law. Our professor assigned us a side to write a brief about and then prepare an oral argument on. I remember hoping that I would get to argue the side saying that it was in fact, NOT indecent exposure, however, no such luck. At that time, I was not even a mother yet, but had hoped to nurse my children someday, and I couldn't imagine that doing so in public could be deemed a crime. Back then, in 2004, the topic was still largely debatable, and hence why it was such a good topic for a Legal Research and Writing Paper. The most interesting thing about the progression of WV Law is that since then, the statute has actually added a clause stating that breastfeeding in public is NOT indecent exposure (provided clause added to WV Code 61-8-9(a) in 2007). This means that a woman can breastfeed her child in public and cannot be prosecuted under the indecent exposure statute. What was once a great topic for law students to debate is now an open and shut case...SORT OF.