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Cities

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

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.

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