***UPDATED ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 21 AT 8PM***
A local mother’s story of being told not to breastfeed her daughter in a Columbia County Chick-fil-A reached thousands. In response, several mothers and their babies filled the restaurant Tuesday night to hold a “nurse in” protest.
While the Evans Chick-fil-A in Mullins Crossing provided wrap around drive-thru services, another group chose to dine inside. Photos taken indoors where NewsChannel 6 cameras could not go show a silent, nurse in: Mothers and their babies rallying in support of another mother and her baby.
“After a few minutes of me breastfeeding, one of the managers walked up and she had a jacket in her hand. She kind of smiled at me and she was like, there has been a complaint, we’re going to need you to cover up. Here is a jacket,” said Samantha McIntosh.
McIntosh said she was eating in the store with her niece and seven-month-old daughter when another customer did not like how she was feeding her child. Taken aback and embarrassed, McIntosh said she stopped.
“…said that they have a right to ask us to cover up and basically I was going to have to let it go,” she said.
But McIntosh does have a right. Georgia law gives a mother the right to breastfeed in any location, public or private. Knowing this, McIntosh took to social media getting thousands of supporters, many who showed up to the Mullins Crossing Chick-fil-A to dine in with their babies latched, eating along too.
Sara Barry, of Evans, was one of them. She spoke with us outside the store and said, “Chick-fil-A being the place where you’re supposed to feel accepted, this is the most at home, down to earth, it’s my pleasure everything.”
Ashley Raskin, of North Augusta, attended alongside her friend.
She said, “They pride themselves on their Christian beliefs and their family values. Clearly some people disagree with publicly breastfeeding. With the way society is today it’s ridiculous because you see people with summer clothes, which is fine, but I can’t sit here and discreetly breastfeed without making someone uncomfortable.”
Chick-fil-A issued an apology to McIntosh.
But she said education is her goal.
“I kind of told him that the only goal here is to encourage education….have a better way to handle this in the future.”
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A local mother claims she was dining in a CSRA Chick -fil-A with her daughter and niece when she was asked, by a manager, not to breastfeed her child.
Samantha Dawn McIntosh posted to Facebook that the incident played out at the Evans restaurant in Mullins Crossing Monday.
Her public post, which has garnered thousands of comments and shares has generated outcry about the mother being told to cover herself. In the hours after posting the original incident, a “nurse in” has been scheduled in the parking lot behind the Mullins Crossing restaurant, with dozens of breast feeding supporters planning to show up in support of the mother and her decision to nurse inside the restaurant.
All 50 states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws specifically stating a mother has the right to nurse in any public or private location.
NewsChannel 6 will have a crew in Evans and will keep you informed of this developing story.
Jason Adams, owner and operator of the Chick-fil-A at Mullins Crossing released the following statement:
“I am truly sorry for the experience Ms. McIntosh had in our restaurant yesterday. I have reached out to her to personally apologize. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of our guests.”
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