New Law Bans Strangers From Touching Your Pregnant Belly

Say What!? 45

hands on bellyI guess I was pretty lucky as a preggers lady: Strangers groping my belly were never a problem. In fact, I don't think a single person I didn't know ever attempted to touch my bump without asking; "acquaintances" who thought, mistakenly, that they knew me well enough to invade my personal space were more of an annoyance. Not every mom-to-be is quite so lucky, however --  particularly those in Pennsylvania, where a law was just passed banning strangers from touching pregnant women's bellies. Whoa! What the heck is going on in Pennsylvania, exactly, to necessitate the passing of such a law? Are hordes of bandit belly-gropers roaming the streets, terrorizing expectant moms?? 

More from The Stir: Are Pregnant Bellies Public Domain?

Not exactly, as it turns out: The law was inspired by one case involving harrassment charges against a man accused of unwanted tummy-touching. But the legislation brings up an interesting point ... why do people think it's perfectly fine to just walk right up to a woman they've never met before and rub her stomach as if a genie might pop out? And, for that matter, why do people think it's perfectly fine to just walk right up to someone they sort of know casually and rub her stomach as if a genie might pop out?

I actually don't think people mean any harm when they commit this breach of etiquette; I think it's more of a case of people liking babies and everything to do with babies and wanting to experience the magic (because it truly is magical) of feeling a tiny person move around inside another person. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not profoundly irritating and even mildly creepy when you're the target of this unwanted, er, affection, for lack of a better word. 

I don't know; it's been over 8 years since I've had to deal with this type of unwelcome advance and, as I said, strangers weren't really an issue for me. But I still have to wonder whether a law like this is really going to be useful.

Do you think a law banning the groping of pregnant women's bellies will make a difference for moms-to-be?


Image via Chelly Cruz/Flickr

the pregnant life


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Movie... Moviebuff

I like the new law :)

Elaine Cox

nothing like running and adding more laws...over one case....its already a crime to touch people unwanted..

Hope Purkey

Unless the law includes ANYbody touching a pregnant belly, I fail to see how this will solve much.  I had more issues with people I know casually thinking it was okay. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you didn't put it there, DON'T TOUCH IT!!

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

I'm okay with this since I knew a girl who hated having her belly touched when she was preggers and used to yell at them when they did (she is generally a no touchy person anyway).  I personally would never touch a pregnant woman's belly unless they gave me they OK and wouldn't be OK either (again, I'm not one to like having my belly touched even when I'm not preggers) and it's sad we have to resort to making a law fro something that should be common sense.

Kate McFadden Kesilis

If nothing else, maybe the publicity of the law will make more people aware that it is NOT OKAY to touch pregnant bellies (there's a person attached after all), without permission. It's frickin' creepy as hell, anyway.

caleb... calebsmama12312

I love it! I live in pa & one time some weirdo guy lifted my shirt up and touched my stomach! I was in shock someone would actually lift my shirt up like that, I felt super violated.

Cleme... Clemency3

I live in shocked to be honest. If pregnant women won't stand up for themselves then they deserve to have people touch their bellies. I have never had this happen without people asking..and people that I am either neighbors with or family. I have never just had a stranger walk up to me and touch. So no I disagree with the law..stand up for yourself if you are uncomfortable with it!

Chris... ChristyM123

I never minded people I knew touching my belly, and never had strangers touch my belly, however I've had issues with stangers wanting to touch my new baby, and my daughter when she was a baby without permission.

Sarah... SarahHall58

I hate people touching my belly without permission and I've let them know in strong words quite a few times. I'm wondering if this is in part because PA has SOOO many elderly people. I've seen women get practically attacked by a group of old people trying to touch her belly.

nonmember avatar NoWay

It never bothered me, but I don't think a complete stranger ever touched my belly. That's just weird, anyway. I never touch a woman's pregnant belly without permission, though, because I know some people don't like it and it truly is a violation of space. :-) But like someone else said ... Why make it a law? I thought it was already a law not to touch someone ...

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