Judge: Prison ban on breast-feeding unconstitutional

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe judge has ruled a Corrections Department policy banning mothers incarcerated in New Mexico state prisons from breast-feeding their infants violates the state constitution.

State District Judge David Thomson issued the ruling in a case brought by Monique Hidalgo, a prison inmate who has been fighting for the right to breast-feed her 5-week-old daughter, Isabella.

Hidalgo filed a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections, its officials and two guards seeking permission to feed her daughter on weekends when the child’s father brings her to visits.

The ruling could affect generations of incarcerated mothers and their babies in New Mexico.