Ohio anti-abortion activist wants to outlaw public nudity (including breastfeeding)

If the nightmare ban were to go into effect, Ohio would be the only state where breastfeeding is illegal

Published August 18, 2014 7:59PM (EDT)

            (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1050958p1.html'>Dmytro Vietrov</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Dmytro Vietrov via Shutterstock)

Boobs are bad. Boobs are an "offense to God." Boobs are "harmful to marriage." Boobs should be banned, because boobs are associated with gay pride. All this according to an anti-abortion Ohio pastor, who would like to see his state outlaw any and all public nudity for the sake of morality and godliness.

Dr. Patrick Johnston, director of the anti-abortion group Personhood Ohio, has made a public plea for the people of his state to urge their legislators to pass a ban on "all public nudity" in Ohio, regardless of what legal, practical purpose (personal expression, nursing an infant) that nudity might serve. Johnston's call comes within weeks of a topless protest outside his fundamentalist church, New Beginnings Ministries, which allegedly spent the better part of nine years harassing and slut-shaming employees at a nearby strip club.

"I am sick that women can legally bare their breasts to children and to married men against their will in Ohio," Johnston posted on his Facebook page following the recent protest. And, in an interview with WSYX, he added, "I think when we allow women to flaunt their sexuality to the public, flaunt their nudity to the public, it's harmful to marriage. ... I think what [the bare-breasted protestors] did was an offense to God, was an offense to the public morality, and the legislature should act to criminalize what they did."

But Johnston's proposed ban wouldn't simply criminalize topless protests; it would outlaw nudity for the sake of breastfeeding as well. As the community group Aiken Area Progressive notes in a blog post on Johnston's ban, such a measure would make Ohio the only state where nursing is illegal. "This is a no-exceptions ban that if enacted, will drop the number of states to 49 in which breastfeeding is legal, and, if enacted, this definitely will violate numerous Constitutional amendments, including the First, 13th and 14th amendments," the group writes. "We strongly urge Ohioans to contact their lawmakers and tell them to oppose any attempt to ban public nudity and instead demand that state legislators exempt nudity from Ohio indecent exposure laws."

(h/t Raw Story)



By Jenny Kutner

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