Prosthesis Pulled From Bra of Breast Cancer Survivor at Airport Security Checkpoint?

After being pulled aside while attempting to pass through the security checkpoint at San Antonio International Airport for her trip to Orlando, Suzanne Steiner — a survivor of breast cancer — claims that a female agent of the Transportation Security Administration removed the prosthesis of her right breast from her bra without warning or notification, leaving her “nearly in tears” from the experience.
What worsened the situation is that Transportation Security Administration agents were allegedly insensitive to her request of attempting to file a complaint pertaining to the incident: “You set off an alarm, you should expect to be checked.”
The following video is a report by Mayra Moreno of KENS-5 TV News in San Antonio:

Included in a statement provided by the Transportation Security Administration pertaining to this incident is the following sentence: “We regret that this passenger had an unpleasant experience and have discussed her concerns with her directly.”
I applaud Suzanne Steiner for having the courage to speak out about this incident in the hope of not only restoring her dignity, but also as a message and a warning to other survivors of breast cancer about what could possibly happen at an airport security checkpoint.
As for security, I can understand why we need it: to protect air travel and ourselves. However, I am reminded of a now-famous quotation attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the founding fathers of the United States:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

I would like to think that dignity is a part of that essential liberty.
If this story by Suzanne Steiner is indeed true, the Transportation Security Agent in question should be immediately terminated from her position. While ensuring the safety and security of as many people as possible may require the process to be strict and efficient, there is no room — or excuse, for that matter — for insensitivity. I would rather die with my dignity and respect than be “safe” and have those stripped away from me.
Cancer survivors of any type deserve better treatment than what Suzanne Steiner experienced, as they have already suffered through more than their fair share of difficulty and tribulations which do not need to be exacerbated by inconsiderate and disrespectful individuals who are tasked with the specific job of protecting their safety and security.

7 thoughts on “Prosthesis Pulled From Bra of Breast Cancer Survivor at Airport Security Checkpoint?”

  1. wedgeclose says:

    TSA? nothing but glorified security guards thinking that they are the CIA. Instead of having National Guard soldiers roaming the terminals etc. why not deputize them and let them handle the screening process? These agents plus the 7.25 an hour protectors? at JFK and LGA do NOTHING TO DETER OR SCARE anyone!

  2. relangford says:

    TSA seems not to understand the concept of courtesy in any of their actions. All the agent had to do was ask to touch (this is required in the military): “May I touch you?”.

  3. localady says:

    This is plain wrong… I am a breast cancer survivor too with a prosthesis and you should hear some of the stuff that TSA had said to me… One B_tch said well a terrorist would cut off parts of their body to hide bombs”… Some are OK during the pat down, but others seem to go out of their way to make you feel like a criminal… I hope that this woman makes a real stink and makes people aware of how authoritative TSA thinks that they are.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did not know that about you, localady — not that that would have been relevant in any way when I first met you.
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience — I appreciate it.

  4. weegraeme says:

    In most western countries, with a few specific exceptions, touch without consent, or at least without notification, is assault in itself!

  5. usafwso says:

    The DHS/TSA are waging war on ordinary law abiding airline passengers.

  6. bkafrick says:

    ^^everyone is a law abiding airline passenger… until they commit a crime.

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