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Updated Dec 28, 2011 - 1:51 pm

Nationwide Target protest reaches Arizona

PHOENIX -- Phoenix women gathered at Target stores on Wednesday, joining a nationwide protest of the company's breastfeeding policy.

More than 200 stores in 45 different states were targeted for a "nurse-in," after an incident in Houston last month in which Target employees reportedly hassled Michelle Hickman, who had been nursing her child in a quiet corner of the women's clothing department.

"I was recently kicked out of McDonald's for breastfeeding so I'm here to support somebody else," said Clarissa Bradford of Phoenix. "We're not out here as the nursing Nazis, we're just feeding our babies, it's normal."

The group of seven Phoenix moms chatted while breastfeeding in the café of the SuperTarget near 7th Street and Bell Road.

"I always nurse my babies in the food court because that's where people eat," Anne Gill said. "I don't need to be hiding in the back somewhere, not in a dressing room and definitely not in a bathroom."

Target's policy claims that mothers will be provided space in the fitting rooms if they like but can also nurse anywhere in the store.

All of the women said they have never had problems at Phoenix-area Target stores and will continue to shop there. This protest is more of a display of support for Hickman, they said.

State laws in Arizona and 44 other states specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.

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