So we wanna clear up something you may have heard in the headlines:
“A new law protecting pregnant women from unwanted belly rubbing.” (Via KTTV)
“Pennsylvania has actually made it illegal to touch the belly of a pregnant woman without her permission!” (Via WRGT)
ATTORNEY: “The only problem is when you harass, annoy, alarm in the act of touching, then it’s a violation, a harassment charge.” (Via WPXI)
And contrary to reports — it’s not a new law.
Harassment of any kind hasn’t been okay in the eyes of the law for a while.
And touching a pregnant belly without permission could be a kind of harassment. (Via Wikimedia Commons)
The story made national news after a pregnant woman pressed harassment charges against a man she said repeatedly touched her belly.
According to NBC, the man was a neighbor, and the woman didn’t want him touching her. He was charged with harassment.
So what really happened was — overly handsy people got a reminder that it could be harassment under existing Pennsylvania law.
Still — the story sparked discussion about an experience pregnant women know all too well: total strangers feeling entitled to touch their bellies.
Which, when you get down to it, some pregnant women say deserves a conversation of its own.
“A total stranger, I prefer to not. The women said at the very least, just ask for permission before you reach out.” (Via WCBS)
- See more at Newsy.com