A nursing mother was forced to show security her freshly pumped breast milk before she was allowed to board a plane with her breast pump.
Amy Strand, was traveling with her nine-month-old daughter Eva, on Wednesday when a TSA agent at Hawaii airport insisted she show him the full bottles of milk before she could board her plane home to Maui.
The high school vice principal said the agent insisted that security rules required that the device could be brought on-board only if it contained milk.
The Transportation Security Administration has said that the agent was wrong to insist this.
‘I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said, no you can go in the women’s bathroom,’ said Strand.
The only electrical outlet in the bathroom was next to a sink facing a wall of mirrors, she said, forcing her to pump while standing in front of other women.
‘I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast, in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom,’ she said.
Strand added that the experience left her feeling ’embarrassed and humiliated.’
Strand said the TSA has since told her the agent involved will go through remediation training and that a memo will be sent to agents at the airport about how to handle similar situations in the future.
Recently, the TSA changed its screening policy to allow nursing mothers to carry breast milk onto airplanes without testing it.
Breast pumps, however, may require additional screening because they are considered as medical equipment.
Source: Daily Mail
The TSA issued a semi-apology, accepting responsibility for the “apparent misunderstanding” and admitting the pump was incorrectly screened.
This isn’t the first time the agency charged with protecting America’s transportation systems has spilled a little breast milk.
Stacey Armato, another young mother, had a little run-in with TSA agents in Phoenix a few years ago. She didn’t want her breast milk X-rayed, so they subjected her to what she and a vast majority of people who watched her video consider a degrading screening experience. Or Heidi Souverville, who wasn’t allowed to bring her breast pump at all when she flew in 2007. [The reason? Breast milk is a liquid. And liquids are dangerous.]
At least none of these women were forced to drink their own breast milk.
It goes beyond nursing. Consider Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna, a breast cancer survivor who now wears a prosthesis. Agents aggressively tried to screen her artificial breast in 2010, in a “horrifying” physical check that she said was more invasive than a doctor’s exam. And since she’s an elected representative, Alaska is now considering a bill that would criminalize the TSA’s controversial pat-downs.
TSA agents spend more time than the average American male asking, “Are they real?” Problem is, they have the authority to make you prove it. They did to this former flight attendant and cancer survivor, who had to remove her prosthesis like Cissna.
The TSA’s fascination with breasts goes to the highest level. Last year, authorities warned that “new” intelligence showed terrorists may try to sneak explosives onto airplanes by surgically stitching them inside suicide bombers. These dangerous bombs could come in the form of breast implants, they cautioned. While many female passengers were fondled as a result of this vague warning, no boob-bombers were apprehended.
Is it any surprise that passengers have had enough of being groped? That may explain why Yukari Mihamae, a writer and translator who lives outside Denver, struck back by allegedly groping and squeezing a TSA agent’s breast in Phoenix a few years ago. She was arrested and reportedly is facing a felony count of sexual abuse, but has also become something of a folk hero.
Source: Huffington Post