A new court case in the UK could help criminalize excessive drinking during pregnancy. Lawyers will argue that a six-year-old girl has brain damage because of her mother drinking while pregnant. They state the child is a victim of her mother's crime.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) has jumped 50 percent in the UK in the last three years. According to the Department of Health, 1 in 100 infants are born with alcohol-related problems.
The case is considered to be a landmark, and might criminalize binge drinking throughout pregnancy. However, some people think that the law should make any amount of drinking during pregnancy illegal.
Alcohol Warning Sign
Sue Brett who adopted Glenn, a 15 year old born with FAS says, “[the law] should be to abstain from alcohol throughout pregnancy. You can’t make it a criminal offence if you are still legally saying there is a safe amount to drink or you can drink.” Glenn has the mental age of a four-year-old and lives with disabilities due to FAS. Brett continues, “it needs to be clear from the start that you can’t drink.”
“If you avoid [drinking], that’s the safest route,” says Dr. Raja Mukherjee, a psychologist and expert in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Most health professionals believe that total abstinence from alcohol is the only way to protect the safety of the fetus.
If you find yourself unable to completely give up alcohol, help is out there through credible alcohol treatment centers. It’s possible to find recovery and live a happy, healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. FAS is 100 percent preventable.