Would you let these people cut in front of you in line at the grocery store? You may not have a choice.
Imagine this. You’ve just finished loading your grocery cart with the last of the items on your shopping list and you head to the checkout aisle. From the looks of the line, everyone in town is doing their weekly shopping today, too. This is going to take a long time, and you don’t exactly have all day to be waiting in line. You’re a busy adult — you’ve got things to do. Just then, a woman, her cart stuffed to the gills, cuts to the front of the line, prolonging your already annoying trip to the grocery store. What’s your reaction?
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s a fan of someone cutting in line, but a new law in Israel will give “certain people” the right to do just that. Before you get too heated on the matter, however, you should know the reason behind the ruling. Most people have actually been very supportive of the new law once they find out who it involves.
A new law in effect in Israel allows expectant mothers the opportunity to move to the front of the line at any place that provides a public service, like the grocery store or the post office. The legislation, which aims to “give pregnant women the respect they deserve,” received so much support that it was passed unanimously by 48 party members, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“Pregnant women are sometimes forced to wait for a long time in long and exhausting lines at supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, the post office and other places which provide public service,” notes the introduction of the bill. “In order to give pregnant women the respect they deserve and to make life easier for them, it is proposed to amend the Women’s Equal Rights — and to determine that in a situation in which a pregnant woman will ask, [she] will be granted the right to receive public service without waiting in line.”
“It is time to give pregnant women the respect they deserve.”
The idea for the new legislation originated from an observation a politician made regarding his own pregnant wife. Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen explained, “The idea for the bill proposal came when I was abroad with my wife who was pregnant. And when we saw the long lines in public places, we thought of giving up on those places. But we were pleasantly surprised when the service providers told us that we did not have to stand in line. When we came back to Israel we noticed the differences. It is time to give pregnant women the respect they deserve.”
Among the many comments left on the Daily Mail‘s coverage of the law were those in favor of it, with one pregnant mom-to-be sharing, “I am six months pregnant with my second child. At the supermarket the other day the checkout queue was 20 minutes long. I had a heavy basket and felt dizzy and exhausted. I was happy to wait my turn, but to be honest would have been very grateful if there was an opportunity to get out of there faster so I didn’t faceplant the floor.”
Mothers know how difficult it is to stand for long periods of time during pregnancy, and having a bunch of groceries in tow only makes an already arduous task even more painstaking. It used to be the decent thing to do, letting someone in front of you in line when they are struggling. Now, it must be legislated, which comes with its own set of problems.
With any new law, there is always the potential for abuse. Most people wouldn’t mind a heavily pregnant woman jumping to the front of the line, but what if the woman was only one month pregnant? What if she’s not pregnant at all and just claims to be? It’s only a matter of time before this law is proposed for the United States. Would you support it?