I’ll never understand the fascination people get out of touching a pregnant woman’s belly.  God forbid you turn down someone’s request to touch your belly when you’re pregnant. You’re usually the one to get looked at oddly.  If you’re living in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania, touching a woman’s pregnant stomach could be grounds for harassment.

Pennsylvania has renewed an expanded law that allows pregnant women to press charges against strangers for excessively harassing them to touch their belly. The law was renewed after a Cumberland County man was harassing a pregnant woman to touch her belly and did so without permission. The lawmakers want to make clear the Pennsylvania law is intended to provide pregnant women protection from unwanted touching. The harassment laws in the state always included pregnant women and many should be aware of it. 

Not every woman wants to have their pregnant belly touched and fondled. Before you’re hauled off in handcuffs, you may want to ask permission.


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  • Starla

    This is one of the funniest laws I have read, but all joke aside, it protects a mother at a very sensitive time of her life.

  • Marie

    Why would snyone touch somebody without their permission, regardless of sex or gender? I always thought touching somebody without permission, or at minimal being confrontational, was simple battery. To the issue, pregnant women are not some freak of nature beings and deserve respect like everyone else.

  • SMH

    Oh the many problems that exist in suburbia. I don’t know anyone who is pregnant or has been pregnant who had this at their top 10 list of problems they would not want to endure while pregnant. Especially not enough to want a law enacted because of it, but these are the same people who expect people to obey the expectant mother parking spot signs (not really a law) or treat them like precious jewels while they remind you every chance they get that they are having a baby. Can’t have it both ways, you want the attention or you don’t.

    • hydrabadchik

      Talking about my pregnancy – however incessant – does not mean “open season to touch me”.

      The listener can always just walk away, avoid me or just say – let’s talk about something else for a change.

      Topic hogging is nowhere NEAR being an excuse for touching without permission.

  • justanotheropinion

    OMG – how PC do we need to become? Most ppl don’t reach out and touch a preg woman’s belly – be realistic, it’s few and far between. For the guy in Philly int he article (and others like him), you have issues but they aren’t the norm. If its uncomfortable for you, tell them to back off. If it’s not an issue, keep your mouth shut and enjoy the belly pat.

    So sick and tired of ‘big brother’ having to step in and legislate this or that in a futile attempt to regulate common decency and the ability of others to say to say no.

    • Katharine Myers

      Have you ever been pregnant? Trust me, it’s necessary. If people need to be told it’s not okay to walk up to a random black person on the street and stick your hands in their hair, they apparently need to be told not to try and grab a pregnant woman’s belly. And fyi: Some people don’t just rub, they grab your belly (hard) or even worse, they shake it with both hands. Like they’re checking to see if anything is in there.

      Anti-rape laws wouldn’t need to exist if human beings were capable of respecting boundaries. Clearly, one way or another, we’re not.

  • Maya

    I am currently 7 months pregnant and since I began to show I have had people reach out and attempt to touch my stomach. In some cases it can be very annoying especially when people rub you like you are the tree stump from Showtime At The Apollo and I have been very vocal about it when I did not want someone to touch my baby bump. For example I have had an incident where a woman did just walk up to me in a store and touch my belly without me knowing her and I feel that the stare and the words I expressed to her were enough for her to realize not to just walk up on someone and touch them. With that being said this law is a little bit too much. Trust me if you touch a pregnant woman and she doesn’t want you to she will let you know.