Monday, December 10, 2007
Help Me Howard: Breast-Feeding Logo on Checks
If you own a business, you probably write quite a few checks. One South Florida woman wanted to personalize her business checks, but says the check company told her the picture she chose was inappropriate. Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser bounces this check complaint your way.
WSVN -- Heidi Agostinho: "I breast-fed all of my children. I actually had my first child when I was 18 years old."
Heidi has had six children, all of them breast-fed.
Heidi Agostinho: "Luckily, just out of being naive, I breast-fed because I didn't really know what else to do, and it's what I had, and it worked."
She might have been naive when she breast-fed her first child, but the more she has learned, the happier she is she chose that path.
Heidi Agostinho: "They have less incidents of diabetes, they have less incidents of high cholesterol as adults. Women who breast-feed have less chances of breast cancer. I mean I can just go on and on."
She is so enthusiastic about breast-feeding, she has turned it into a business helping young mothers wanting to breast-feed their babies.
Heidi Agostinho: "If they get home from the hospital, and they have a problem breast-feeding we go to their home and help them."
To Heidi, breast-feeding is natural, but she realizes, to others, a breast-feeding baby is naughty.
Heidi Agostinho: "I think one of the biggest problems we have in this country is we see them as sexual objects."
And that was proven to Heidi when she tried to order checks for her business.
Heidi Agostinho: "I wanted to have a breast-feeding picture on the checks.
This was the picture Heidi sent to the check company. No nipple showing, just the baby nursing, but the company refused to print the picture on her checks.
Heidi Agostinho: "They told me that the checks had been canceled due to inappropriate picture. I was shocked, it's a breast-feeding picture of a mother and a baby."
Heidi then contacted a supervisor.
Heidi Agostinho: "I told her that I would e-mail her the law for the state of Texas and the state of Florida that state that it's not lewd and lascivious acts, which would therefore make it not inappropriate."
The company was not swayed and said "no" to the picture of her breast-feeding her baby.
Heidi Agostinho: "I don't understand how skin showing on a breast, probably just a little more than what's showing here is inappropriate."
But does she have a right to put this picture on her checks, Mr. Finkelstein?
Howard Finkelstein: "The law doesn't regulate pictures that are not illegal or obscene. This picture is fine and Heidi can put it on her checks, but the law also does not require a company to print the checks if they don't want to. Meaning, Heidi just has to find a company willing to print the checks with the picture."
When we asked the check printing company if the breast-feeding picture was inappropriate, they told us "no," but they added the company must be mindful about the precedent set if they were to have it printed. We then contacted another check printing company, they said the breast-feeding image was not offensive to them and agreed to print the checks.
Good news for Heidi, as she continues to teach mothers about the benefits of breast-feeding.
Heidi Agostinho: "We need to educate people, and we need them to know that breast-feeding is not inappropriate. It's not inappropriate in public, it's not inappropriate on a picture."
Patrick Fraser: "Is breast-feeding inappropriate in public? To some people it is, but the state of Florida has declared it is appropriate and legal for a mother to do in public. As for what you can put on a check? We found it varies from company to company."
Nursing a problem that's left you feeling empty? Check with us, we have the formula for an appropriate solution.
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