“Unacceptable”: judge under fire after throwing woman out of court for breastfeeding

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In Australia, a judge on Thursday expelled a woman from the courtroom because she was breastfeeding. After the incident, the judge immediately received a lot of criticism, but he does not apologize for his “obvious” act.

Jane EyckmansSource: The Guardian, Daily Mail

The woman took her baby to a trial in Melbourne on Thursday. When she started to breastfeed the child, the judge confronted her. He asked the woman to leave the room, because that would not be allowed in the courtroom. It would distract the jury too much. The mother then obeyed.

Doctors and other advocates criticize the judge’s “unacceptable” actions. When Australian Minister for Young Children and Pre-school Education, Ingrid Stitt, was asked about it at a press conference Friday, she replied: “In 2023 it is curious that this has happened at all. It’s disappointing.”

The judge himself justified his decision as a logical choice. He told the jury on Friday: “What I [tegen de moeder] said was: Ma’am, it’s not allowed to breastfeed a baby in court. I’m sorry. I’ll have to ask you to leave. At the very least, it will distract the jury.”

The public prosecutor will probably still address the court on this, because according to her spokesperson, no woman should be “shamed and humiliated” if she breastfeeds in public.

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