Pregnant women in Pennsylvania will no longer suffer through belly petting and rubbing, if they don't want to.
Following a harassment charge filed against a man in Cumberland County who rubbed a pregnant woman’s belly without permission, the act is now illegal in the state.
Under the law, touching a pregnant woman’s belly without her permission is considered harassment.
The issue sparked debate on Facebook this week. Some thought the law was common sense.
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“It's always polite and respectable to ask a person first if you can touch them. Just going up to anyone and touching them is rude and inappropriate,” a user wrote to ABC San Diego’s Facebook page.
“Um, duh?” wrote another user. “Of course it's against the law to touch someone without their consent! Why would it not be OK to have a say in who touches your body??”
Others were critical of the severity.
“I don't know about making it a crime, but certainly people should have the decency to ask. I didn't like it either. It's creepy being touched by strangers,” wrote one woman.
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“Someone touched my arm in the elevator...where do I file charges?” wrote another.
“And this is the reason why our jails are over crowded! Stupid laws like this,” one man wrote.
Others asked how the act of touching a person is categorized as “harassment.”
“I thought unwanted touching of anyone is called assault...” one man wrote.
Renee Ramp, who works with pregnant women at a shelter, told KHOU that there are many reasons mothers should be concerned about people rubbing their tummies.
She said a man who touches pregnant women who is aggressive or suggestive, should be reported to police.