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Protest planned after moms asked to cover up while breastfeeding at public pool in Mora

The peaceful demonstration takes place outside the pool on Saturday.
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A woman's complaint about two mothers breastfeeding at a Kanabec County pool will lead to a "nurse-in" demonstration on Saturday.

Unfortunate scenes unfolded at the Mora Aquatic Center on Wednesday when two breastfeeding moms were asked to cover up by an apparently offended woman.

Sheriff's deputies were called in as the situation escalated, FOX 9 reports, after the mothers refused to move to another area of the center, stating that they had every legal right to breastfeed where they please.

The mothers involved were Stephanie Ellingson-Buchanan and her sister-in-law Mary Davis, with Buchanan telling the Kanabec County Times the incident left her "humiliated."

On Facebook, she wrote: "I don't expect any grown adult to go eat in the locker room and I'm not going to remove the other children I have with me to go sit in the locker room also while I feed my baby, it's absolutely disgusting and maddening that this is how this establishment treats moms!!!"

Now local mothers are responding to the incident by holding a peaceful demonstration outside the center on Saturday.

Dubbed a "poolside nurse-in," the Facebook event page says it's a "peaceful demonstration that us Mamas can and will nurse when we want and where we want."

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"This is about our legal right to nurse in public as a result of our decision to breastfeed," it adds, and not about a debate of formula vs breastmilk.

"This is not a personal attack on the pool, it’s staff, or the police," it continues. "This incident was created by a woman’s issue about another woman breast feeding her child.

"We just want to normalize breastfeeding and bring some awareness to this. Our breasts were created for this sole purpose so why do we get bashed when using them appropriately?"

Under Minnesota law, mothers may breastfeed "in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be," and it's not considered "indecent exposure."

Officials in Mora, which is 70 miles north of Minneapolis, told the Kanabec County Times the breastfeeding "made many patrons uncomfortable," but has offered a full apology to Buchanan and Davis and says it will review its policies and procedures.

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