Mother says YMCA didn’t let her breastfeed in public, sues

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A mother who says she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed in public at a Rhode Island YMCA is suing.

The American Civil Liberties Union said Friday it filed the lawsuit against the Ocean Community YMCA for Elizabeth Gooding, a mother of three who was a part-time employee and member there.

Gooding alleges YMCA employees at the Westerly branch told her in February 2015 and again a month later she couldn’t nurse in public areas at the YMCA.

The Ocean Community YMCA president and vice president couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Rhode Island in 2008 passed a law allowing breastfeeding in public places.

Gooding says she’s speaking out for women who’ve been shamed or prevented from nurturing their children. The lawsuit seeks a public breastfeeding policy consistent with state law.

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