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An App to End Pregnant Women's Quest for Subway Seats

In Tokyo, new technology matches expectant mothers looking for a seat with passengers willing to give theirs up.  
relates to An App to End Pregnant Women's Quest for Subway Seats
Lee Jae Won/Reuters

Debates over priority seating on the subway can get contentious. The question of whether able-bodied riders should relinquish their seats to pregnant women, for instance, prompts squabbling online, as well as in real life.

A good many people will offer a seat to a visibly pregnant woman, but there are enough who don’t to prompt expectant mothers around the world to complain about the lack of civility they experience from fellow riders—especially men. One woman in New York City even carried around a 7-inch trophy honoring the “#1 Decent Dude” who offered her a seat. The dude didn’t appear until the eighth month of her second pregnancy. The opposing camp’s arguments often center on how pregnancy is not a disability, or that it’s a woman’s “choice,” so she should bear it with fortitude.