I’m the kind of person who likes her space. I have a very particular personal bubble, and there’s a limit on how much I want to be touched. This space bubble and limit does apply to my children and my husband too, and it can vary day by day. It’s just a part of who I am, and it’s no different when I am pregnant.
One experience many pregnant women endure is having a stranger come up and touch their stomach. Without warning, permission, or solicitation. They do it just because they’re so overwhelmed by your magical belly, they feel the need to touch it supposedly). Could you imagine that happening to someone who isn’t pregnant? If you just randomly accosted someone without permission? It happened to me once when I was pregnant with my first child, and it upset me and grossed me out to no end. At the time, I was in shock!
But while it seems to be an experience many mamas endure, if you live in Pennsylvania, that experience may now be a thing of the past. As ABC local reports, Pennsylvania recently passed a law that makes it illegal for strangers to touch a pregnant woman’s belly without her permission. I know the person doing the touching usually means no harm, but putting your hands on someone without his or her permission can be seen as a form of harassment or assault. This law just seems to make it more clear that it’s never okay to touch someone without their consent — no matter your intent.
I think that it’s sad there needs to be a specific law because it seems like it should just be common sense. But clearly it’s not to some people, so I can’t see this law in Pennsylvania doing any harm.
Update: The first charge under this law has been brought against a Pennsylvania man who touched his pregnant neighbor’s stomach without permission. What will happen to him if he’s found guilty? Read Pregnant Pennsylvania Woman Files Charges Against Neighbor Who Touched Her Belly to find out!
:: How do you feel about the new law in Pennsylvania? Share in the comments! ::
Photo credit: iStockPhoto
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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!