In what is seen by many lawyers as a dangerous precedence, a 20-year-old mother in Sydney, Australia was banned from breastfeeding after she got a new tattoo.
According to the ruling made by Judge Matthew Myers who admittedly based his decision on information he gathered from the internet, the mother (who was not named) could possibly have contracted HIV and hepatitis because she got a tattoo.
This ruling has since been overturned by the Sydney family court a week after it was imposed as the court believes it was enough for the judge to simply make the decision based on internet research.
Myers’ ruling was slammed by several lawyers, including an expert on breastfeeding and mothering law, Philadelphia-based attorney Jake Marcus, reports Yahoo! Parenting. According to Marcus, although there has been a lot of rulings involving breastfeeding because of various reasons (such as the mother’s use of alcohol while breastfeeding), this is believed to be the first time a judge banned a mother from breastfeeding because she got a tattoo.
Marcus pointed out that blood-related diseases like HIV and hepatitis are contracted by shared needles, not just by the act of getting a tattoo. In legitimate tattoo parlors, needles are never shared among clients; thus, according to Marcus, the chances of getting sick with these ailments are close to none – but unprotected sex is a different thing.
Considering that unprotected sex is more likely to make a breastfeeding mom sick than getting a tattoo from a legitimate facility, Marcus fears that Myers’ ruling just might be used by other judges in the future to impose a ban just because the child’s parents are not staying together and the woman could be enjoying relations with other man. Marcus believes this is already invasion of privacy.
Why the ban on breastfeeding? Marcus believes the child’s father had initiated the action to gain more days in custody of the child as the bitter battle appears to be in favor of the child’s mother.
Still, even if the guy did that due to desperation, the judge’s decision was simply outrageous! It was a good thing the ruling was reversed a week later.