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TSA Screeners Ask Woman to Remove Breast: TSA Receives the Asshole of the Week Award

November 23, 2010

Yes, it’s true.  The story was originally reported in Time, but TSA screeners asked a cancer survivor to remove her prosthetic breast, because all prosthetic devices can be examined:

Working as a flight attendant, Bossy tells WBTV that she was subjected in North Carolina to one of the first rounds of inspections via full body-scanners; a procedure that concerned this breast cancer survivor from the start, due to the radiation involved.

But it was when she was selected for a more thorough pat-down that she says an uncomfortable situation crossed the line.

Bossy told WBTV that her screener zeroed in quickly on her right breast – a prosthetic breast she was fitted with after cancer surgery – and demanded to know why the breast felt unusual. When informed that it was a prosthesis, the inspector allegedly instructed Bossy to both show, and then remove, the artificial extension.

Bossy says she was so mortified by the scenario that she forgot to write down the name of the North Carolina screener, but the TSA tells WBTV that it is now investigating this claim. That said, the TSA rules make it clear: Agents are absolutely allowed to ask about, touch and demand to see any prosthetic part of the body

I have heard reports the most Americans support scanners, but are they people who travel all the time, or are they the nervous consumers who fly once a year to see family?  As someone who flies all the time, and has family members who used to fly all the time, I wouldn’t submit to public searches, nor would I submit to scanners.  Radiation doesn’t just pass through the body; it’s absorbed by the tissues.  But really, asking a woman to remove her breast?  TSA wins the Asshole of the Week Award.

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