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Bill Would Make Baring Female Breasts In Public A Felony

A bill filed at the state legislature would make baring female breasts in public a felony. The bill comes as some lawmakers have received complaints about a topless rally in Asheville last summer. Many attorneys say it's fair to infer from state statutes and court decisions that bare breasts are like other so-called "private parts" of the body- and if they're revealed, charges of indecent exposure could be filed. Republican representative Rayne Brown says the bill, if passed, would help local law enforcement and district attorneys be sure that women who bare their breasts in public are breaking the law.

"What we have done is just clarify. Because we want cities to feel like they're on some footing, we want counties to feel that way, in terms of what the law actually says, in terms of what the law actually does."

The bill makes an exemption for breastfeeding in public, which is already legal under state law.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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