A mother was ticketed in New York City while breastfeeding her child in a parked car

Let's face it, no matter how iron-clad our laws are, they are all implemented by humans who can choose whether or not to enforce them.

A judge can throw a ticket out of court for being unreasonable, and a police officer can choose not to ticket someone who's broken the law because they have a legitimate excuse.

In the end, we are a society of laws, but a lot of it is very arbitrary.


There are some excuses that'll get someone out of a speeding ticket such as medical emergency, having to go to the bathroom really bad or of there's a safety issue.

Guillermina Rodriguez thinks she should't have been ticketed for parking in a commercial zone because she had a breastfeeding emergency — and she's right.

Recently, Rodriguez, a mother of four, including a three-month-old girl, was stuck in heavy Midtown Manhattan traffic and her baby began to cry because she was hungry.

via joiseyshowaa / flickr

"There was a lot of traffic. that took me like 30, 40 minutes to an hour to just get from 42nd to 30th street," she told CBS News. So she pulled over in a commercial zone to breastfeed her child because the situation was urgent.

"I'm like I'm not obstructing the traffic, let me just stay there and I can breastfeed the baby there."

RELATED: Mother unapologetically shares what it looks like to 'respectfully' breastfeed in public

Rodriguez hopped in the backseat to feed her starving baby and in a few minutes an NYPD tow truck showed up.

"He's backing up to tow my truck ... so I jump into the front seat to honk," she said. "So he can see, 'Don't tow my truck because I'm in here.'"

Her truck wasn't towed, but a ticketing agent approached the vehicle to fine her for her infraction, not realizing she was breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously in the back seat. "Both my breasts are out and I turn and I'm like 'I'm breastfeeding my baby.'"

The officer averted his gaze from Rodriguez but still left a ticket on the windshield. It was a $115 fine for standing in a commercial zone.

"I'm here, breastfeeding my child and he still gives me a ticket," Rodriguez said in a video she took at the scene of the alleged infraction.

The NYPD claims the ticketing agent wrote the ticket before noticing she was breastfeeding and because they don't have the authority to void a ticket, his hands were tied.

RELATED: Breastfeeding mom's touching encounter with an orangutan has people swooning—and debating

Rodriguez believes that breastfeeding should be urgent enough of an issue for mothers like her to avoid petty fines. A hungry baby is a stressful situation for parents and it means their child is in distress. It could also cause the driving parent to be distracted and make unsafe maneuvers.

The Rodriguez situation should open up a dialog among law enforcement to find a fair way to treat parents who are forced to break the law because their children need to be fed. What was Rodriguez supposed to do in the situation? Sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic with a screaming child? Breastfeed the baby while driving?

She plans to dispute the ticket in court and hopes the judge is a parent.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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