Not for Public Consumption

When are breasts obscene?

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Judging from modern marketing, it seems that Mother Nature's sole intent for inventing the breast was advertising. Women's chests are used to sell everything from underwear to cologne, their sexually suggestive powers unparalleled among marketing tools.

But what happens when one small clinic decides to use breasts to advertise their natural purpose, feeding babies? The idea is categorically rejected as 'offensive.'

So goes the case of By Choice Midwifery in Des Moines, Iowa.

If you're unfamiliar with midwifery services, think of them as something akin to an organic version of Planned Parenthood. Their principal job is to assist mothers in natural births--sans the drugs and high-priced equipment. By Choice also offers assistance ranging from prenatal care to menopause counseling.

Last fall, By Choice planned its coming out party. Partners Dana Ericson and Carey Ann Ryan had been in business three years and wanted to market their services citywide, so they approached Universal Outdoor Advertising with a novel idea: They wanted to promote the value of breast-feeding and use bare breasts to do it.

It seemed logical to them. Who would argue against displaying one of Mother Nature's better designs?

Apparently, quite a few people.