It was reported earlier this week by some news outlets that a new law in Pennsylvania made it illegal to touch a pregnant woman’s belly without permission.
The story was shared widely on social media, but the report was not exactly accurate.
Channel 11 News did some research and discovered that it’s not a new law, but a renewed warning after a case in the central part of the state.
“Essentially, someone had touched a pregnant woman’s belly. 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,” said local attorney Phil DiLucente.
DiLucente said this particular harassment law has always been on the books.
“Simply stated, it’s always been the law. It always will be the law,”DiLucente said.
Whether new or old, Jackie Collier, of Scott Township, said her recently pregnant daughter understands how belly-touching can get excessive.
“Especially if they don’t know her or ask permission. It’s kind of invasive,” Collier said.
DiLucente said pressing charges is something done if the touching gets out of hand.
“That’s taking it to the extreme. But if it really gets to you, she would probably be No. 1 voting for that,” DiLucente said.