PITTSBURGH, Penn. -- A harassment law in Penn. has become a big topic of discussion on social media over whether strangers should face charges if they reach out and touch a pregnant woman’s belly.
It is, in fact, illegal to rub a pregnant woman’s belly in Penn., without first asking for her permission. But the statute is not present in every state.
It’s an awkward experience that many moms can relate to, commenting on social media that it happened to them when they were pregnant, too.
“I hated that! Random people walking up to you like, ‘Awww how many months?’ and rub their hands all over my stomach, like it's OK to just invade my personal space and touch me,” one women commented on MSN Now.
“I flat out told people, ‘Do not touch me!’ and had many a dirty look from old ladies, but that’s just not cool, man,” another commenter noted.
“That’s just odd they passed a law like this, but I remember how odd it was to have people touch my stomach when I was pregnant. Thankfully, most people asked first,” another woman added.
The Penn. legal statute got renewed attention in recent weeks after a man was accused of touching a stranger’s baby belly several times, despite her discomfort in the situation.
“Essentially, someone had touched a pregnant woman’s belly,” attorney Phil DiLucente told Pittsburgh’s WPIX-TV. “That’s very common that pregnant women have to go through that. The only problem is when you harass, annoy, alarm in the act of touching, then it’s a violation, a harassment charge.”