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Breastfeeding mom charged after telling judge she can’t serve jury duty

Posted at 12:33 PM, Oct 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-22 12:34:32-04

LEE'S SUMMIT, Missouri (KCTV) - A Missouri mother faces a legal battle over breast feeding and jury duty. Laura Trickle was charged with contempt of court because she told a judge she breastfeeds her seven-month-old son and could not leave him behind to serve jury duty.

"You're not allowed to have children there for jury duty," Trickle said. "He has to be with me to eat."

When the judge refused to dismiss Trickle, she appeared for jury duty with seven-month-old Axel in tow. When she arrived, she said the judge gave her two options.

"I would be able to pump on breaks, unfortunately Axel doesn't take a bottle, so that's not an option for us," she said. "The other option was to have someone stay with me all day and then be able to nurse on breaks. But since I'm a stay-at-home mom we don't have child care."

In addition to the contempt charge, Trickle faces up to a $500 in fines.

"It's been really scary, it's been very stressful for our family," she said.

Eleven states, including Virginia, excuse breastfeeding moms from jury duty.

"It's not right, it's not fair for us. We're just trying to do what's best for our children and we shouldn't be penalized and fined for it," she said.

Trickle said she hopes the judge has a change of heart when she appears in court on Thursday. The judge in this case refused to comment for the story.