Laura Trickle, of Missouri, never expected breastfeeding her newborn baby could potentially lead to contempt of court charges.
"It's been incredibly stressful; I'd like to have a little bit more understanding from the court," Trickle says.
She was summoned to jury duty in August. She asked to be exempt because she was breastfeeding her son, Axel, then 5-months-old. The judge, though, disagreed and said the court does provide a room where nursing moms can pump.
"He told me that I would be able to pump on breaks, or that I could bring a caregiver," Trickle says. "I'm a stay-at-home mom, so we don't have full-time childcare," she adds.
This week, the new mom will face potential charges of contempt...
"As far as pumping, Axel doesn't take a bottle, so that wouldn't work for us," Trickle says.
Trickle says the judge issued a court order saying she "willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child..."
Just 20 miles away in Kansas, breastfeeding women are exempt from jury duty as they are in 11 other states. We reached out to the Jackson County Courthouse for comment, but did not receive a response.
Missouri state senator and physician, Rob Schaaf, agrees with Trickle and says he is drafting legislation exempting moms who breastfeed from jury duty across the state.
Trickle's hearing is scheduled for Thursday at the Jackson County Courthouse, where she will show cause as to why she should not be held in civil contempt and ordered to pay a fine. She says she's absolutely willing to do her civic duty...she just can't do it right now.
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