The organizers of a nurse-in outside a Montreal store on Wednesday want the rights of breastfeeing mothers to be protected by a provincial law. ((CBC file photo))

More than 100 breastfeeding mothers staged a protest outside a store in Montreal Wednesday.

The "nurse-in" was in front of the Orchestra baby clothing store in the Complexe Les Ailes shopping centre on Ste-Catherine Street. Two weeks ago, Montrealer Shannon Smith was asked to leave the shop because she was breastfeeding.

The store's decision angered many women, and although the store has since apologized, the women are now pushing for a provincial law to protect their right to breastfeed.

"I'd like to ensure that never happens again," said Smith.

Wynona McCarthy and her daughter Emma joined Smith and more than 100 others outside the store Wednesday.


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She said Smith's story isn't unique.

"It's humiliating," McCarthy said. "It's really frustrating, because, you know, it's such a basic common human thing to be able to do that for your child."

Orchestra says the employee made a mistake in telling Smith to stop breastfeeding.

But organizer Geneviève Coulombe said Wednesday's nurse-in is about more than this isolated incident.

She said she wants the rights of breastfeeding mothers to be protected by a provincial law similar to those that already exist in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

"One day, you will pass a breastfeeding mother, and you will check and turn away like she was drinking a coffee," said Coulombe.

Coulombe said she already has the support of her local representative in the national assembly and is starting an online petition.