Antiquated town code made public breastfeeding illegal in Hempstead

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

A mistake by the town of Hempstead technically made it illegal for women to breastfeed in public.

Colleen Morgan, a Levittown mother of two children, discovered the antiquated town code restricting public breastfeeding while reviewing the town's regulations for pool use.

“As I was reading through it, one of the rules – rule No. 13 – had a provision in it that breastfeeding and diaper changing were permitted in designated areas only,” said Morgan.

That rule violates a New York state law passed in 1994, which states nursing women have the right to breastfeed unrestricted in any location, public or private, as long as they are authorized to be there.

Morgan says she emailed the town of Hempstead to let them know about the rule and request its removal.

“It's targeting breastfeeding mothers. It's hurtful. It's going to make them feel uncomfortable, ashamed,” said Morgan.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen says she immediately amended the old code so that breastfeeding is permissible in any location.

“I am the first mother to ever serve as the supervisor of the town of Hempstead, so obviously, this is not something that I would put forward,” said Gillen. “I know how important breastfeeding is to the infant and to the mother.”

Gillen says the mistake happened because the old town code had not been updated by previous administrations to match the state law. The rules and regulations signs at town pools have been changed to reflect the updated code.

“It's 2018. Mothers breastfeed in public and should not be ashamed to do so,” said Morgan.

Gillen says a public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 4. A vote by the Town Board will follow to make the change official.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Monday, October 15 2018 10:02 AM EDT2018-10-15 14:02:36 GMT

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

  • Dog Day Fridays for October 12

    Dog Day Fridays for October 12

    Friday, October 12 2018 6:38 AM EDT2018-10-12 10:38:40 GMT
    Monkey is approximately 2 years old. He a super sweet, loving timid dog and would be best as an only dog. He was found on the side of a road and unable to move due to a broken pelvis. He was starving and had lost much of his hair.Monkey is approximately 2 years old. He a super sweet, loving timid dog and would be best as an only dog. He was found on the side of a road and unable to move due to a broken pelvis. He was starving and had lost much of his hair.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388. 

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."