Pregnancy is uncomfortable enough without the threat of strange passersby running their hands over your stomach—what makes them think this type of behavior is acceptable? It's not the same as pausing to pet someone's dog. It's a stomach. It's still a body part.
To combat this scourge of poor form, Pennsylvania has renewed an already extant law that bans overly enthusiastic strangers from groping pregnant women's bellies. Residents of the state apparently needed to be reminded that its illegal to harass a woman just because she's with child.
“Essentially, someone had touched a pregnant woman’s belly. That’s very common that pregnant women have to go through that," attorney Phil DiLucente told WPIX. "The only problem is when you harass, annoy, alarm in the act of touching, then it’s a violation, a harassment charge."
Still, filing a harassment charge is probably not how most pregnant women want to spend their final days of free time before their howling bundle of joy comes bursting into their lives. To this end, several women have shared their diversion tips with informational wellspring About.com.
"I just keep an eye out for hands coming towards me and quickly divert my belly or their attention," Amanda, a mother of four, told the site.
Sally, expecting her first, said that "Patting their belly back has stunned a few people at work into stopping this annoying adventure."
When in doubt, though, you can't beat unbridled rage. "'Back off!'" said another mom-to-be. "You'd be surprised at how screaming this can make people move away."