Free theater for nursing babies?

Rhode Island considers bill to allow breast-feeding infants free admission.


Katharine Mieszkowski
April 29, 2006 3:16AM (UTC)

This legislation would surely get a standing ovation, if the audience were only old enough to stand. Rhode Island is considering a bill that would allow breast-feeding babies to attend theater and other live performances for free, according to the Associated Press.

A state representative introduced the bill after hearing from a mother who paid for a $75 ticket for her nursing infant so she could attend a show with the child. The perk would apply to breast-fed infants under 1 year old, the theory being that it's easier to leave an infant who isn't breast-feeding with a babysitter. No word on how mothers will be required to prove that their babies are nursing.

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The bill has already passed the House and moved on to the Senate. Opponents of the bill say that children that small shouldn't be at live performances anyway: "They should be paying double for the disturbance they're creating," Rep. Joseph Trillo, R-Warwick, told the Providence Journal.

I'm all for any family-friendly policy that helps nursing moms enjoy a night out. Given all the bad news about nursing in public, I was glad to read about a policy that gives nursing babies a break. Yet, I'm sure that some theater- and concertgoers will be up in arms that more babies in the audience could mean fussing and crying from curtain rise to fall.

Where do Broadsheet readers stand?


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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