In what might be considered welcome news for expecting mothers, the state of Pennsylvania has reinstituted an old law asserting that it's illegal to touch a pregnant woman's belly without permission, reported ABC News 23.
Many moms are familiar with this behavior during pregnancy: a well-meaning stranger excited about the new little life brewing inside a woman comes up and places his or her hand on her stomach to "feel" the baby. Technically, that unwanted physical contact is assault, at least according to the state of Pennsylvania.
This has been going on since as long as there have been pregnant ladies, so how did this law come to be reinstated at this point in time?
"Essentially, someone had touched a pregnant woman's belly. That's very common that pregnant women have to go through. The only problem is when you harass, annoy, alarm in the act of touching, then it's a violation, a harassment charge," attorney Phil DiLucente told the news source. "Simply stated, it's always been the law. It always will be the law."
According to msnNOW, the law was a direct reaction to one woman feeling victimized when a man repeatedly touched her belly against her will. While many women report feeling uncomfortable with the strange custom during pregnancy, the added element of a repeat offender continuing to indulge despite her explicit refusal sent her over the edge - and to her lawyer's office. While some may think it extreme, other moms-to-be around the world are cheering this small victory.
Does the law have it right? Do you feel uncomfortable when strangers reach out and touch your baby bump? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!