A small but passionate group of mothers and toddlers gathered outside the Sunrise studios this morning, to protest against comments by David Koch that breast-feeding mothers should keep themselves “classy.”
Despite over 800 indicating they would attend the numbers appeared to be much closer to several dozen, but they held signs and balloons as some breastfed their babies. Their friendly protest meant the police on standby weren’t necessary.
The group was only visible sporadically throughout this morning’s show, some of which included crosses to Melissa Doyle in Washington ahead of the Obama inauguration.
Inside David Koch was joined by Samantha Armytage, who hosted a debate with the protest organiser, Amy Ahearn after 8am.
Koch held his ground on the issue, carefully advocating a mother’s right to breastfeed “anywhere, anytime” but that mothers should respect their environment and other people and “be discreet.” He said that of his two daughters currently breastfeeding, both had taken different sides on the debate.
Ahearn told Koch that while his comments were well-intentioned they had done more damage than he realised.
“By saying that women should cover up or be discreet, that word has a shame connotation,” she said.
“You shouldn’t have to run and hide in a room or a toilet or any other area. It’s just a part of life.”
Koch replied, “I think you should breast-feed anywhere, anytime at all, it’s just that I think you’ve got to be aware of your environment, and to show respect to others and common courtesy to others …. and they should show respect to you as well. But depending on the situation to be discreet and to be modest.
“I think if you’re breast-feeding uncovered then you need to do it discreetly.”
He also apologised if he had offended anybody.
The issue was also tackled in another Kochie’s Angels segment (2 of whom disagreed with him) before Koch was presented with a collage photo of breastfeeding mums at the end of the show.