Should Drinking Booze with a Bump be Illegal?

In England, a landmark case will be heard by the Court of Appeal that could make drinking alcohol excessively while pregnant a punishable crime. The prosecution will try to prove that a six-year-old girl is a victim of a crime because she suffered brain damage when she was exposed to alcohol in the womb—a risk that her mom was aware of, Sky News has reported.

There has been a shocking 50 percent rise in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in England within the past three years. The Department of Health reports that around one in 100 babies are born with alcohol-related disorders in the country. Researchers warn that moms don’t have to be binge-drinkers to put their unborn children at risk for preterm births, birth defects, brain and nervous system problems or behavioral or emotional issues later in life.

No one knows for sure if the occasional drink is safe during pregnancy, especially during the first or second trimesters when your baby’s most crucial development takes place. That’s why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advise not drinking at all during pregnancy. Think about it this way, the exact number of cocktails you’re having are being consumed by your itty-bitty baby at the most critical time for his or her physical and cognitive development when critical organs are forming. No drink can taste so good that it’s worth putting your baby at risk—and possibly causing you to be incarcerated.

If England passes a law saying that pregnant women can be jailed for drinking—either while pregnant, or after the baby is born with defects—than it could set a precedent for other countries, including the U.S., to follow suit. Worse case scenario: Your drinking causes your child to have birth defects and you’re serving time for endangering his or her life. Not exactly how you’d want things to go down, right?

TELL US: Do you think women should be arrested if they are drinking while pregnant? What if their children are born with birth defects because they drank during their pregnancy?

Image of pregnant woman with wine courtesy of Shutterstock.

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