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Breastfeeding advocate: Honolulu shelter acted lawfully

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

LAST UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. HST, Jul 03, 2014

A national breastfeeding advocacy organization said a Honolulu homeless shelter is legally allowed to require a resident to nurse while covered or in a private room.

Best for Babes Foundation's director of activism Michelle Hickman said Hawaii's public accommodation law doesn't apply to the Institute for Human Services' shelter. Hickman said the shelter is considered a residential area, likening it to the government not being able to tell people what to do in their own homes.

Karen Penley contacted the news media after shelter employees told her she could not nurse out in the open. She said they violated her rights to breastfeed in a way that's comfortable for her and her baby.

Executive Director Connie Mitchell said on Thursday she's relieved to know the shelter's rights but will respect Penley's breastfeeding.

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Masami wrote:
Now will all the trolls say that this national breastfeeding advocacy organization , "Best for Babes Foundation" is wrong? You know, for consistency?
on July 3,2014 | 12:36PM
I think I would follow the consitutional rights before I adhere to the rights of an organization. Makes no difference to me if she does or does not. But the point is-too many of our rights are being infringed upon by all these PC groups, environmental groups, political.......When will our rights be totally removed?
on July 3,2014 | 01:34PM
pridon wrote:
How come this woman, who is obviously not from Hawaii, is here with a 3 month old and another kid and readily gets into IHS. Buy her a ticket back to Alabama or wherever she is from. Probably chased an unwed GI father to Hawaii and got dumped.
on July 3,2014 | 01:52PM
bumba wrote:
Excellent question.
on July 3,2014 | 02:32PM
MakaniKai wrote:
'enuff with dis wahine already! Agree Pridon, she needs to return to her trailer park.
on July 3,2014 | 02:39PM
st1d wrote:
penley seems to be trolling for a lawsuit.
on July 3,2014 | 05:19PM
inverse wrote:
This 'homeless' single woman, probably from the mainland using her two children and the act of breast feeding as some kind of leverage for the purpose of gaining attention and possibly some kind of financial gain? Kind of sounds like a plot of an old Hawaii Five-O episode, except without the need for the public breast feeding scam.
on July 4,2014 | 05:45AM
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