On February 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report advising women between the ages of 15 and 44 to eschew drinking alcohol while they are pregnant or may become pregnant. The report estimated 3.3 million women could be affected, positing that three in four women who plan to get pregnant continue drinking even after they stop using birth control. The CDC added that most women are unaware of their pregnancies until four to six weeks after conception.
The report bluntly stated:
Alcohol use during pregnancy, even within the first few weeks and before a woman knows she is pregnant, can cause lasting physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that can last for a child’s lifetime. These disabilities are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). There is no known safe amount of alcohol – even beer or wine – that is safe for a woman to drink at any stage of pregnancy … Healthcare providers should advise women who want to become pregnant to stop drinking alcohol as soon as they stop using birth control.
Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, stated, “The risk is real. Why take the chance?”
The CDC’s case was buttressed by a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics that stated, “no amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy.” Dr. Mark S. DeFrancesco, the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, added, “In many cases of unintended pregnancy, women inadvertently expose their fetuses to alcohol and its teratogenic effects prior to discovering that they are pregnant,” Dr. Mark S. DeFrancesco, the organization’s president, asserted, “This is just another reason why it’s so important that health care providers counsel women about how to prevent unintended pregnancy through use of the contraceptive method that is right for them.”
An infographic accompanying the report stated that female alcohol consumption could lead to “injuries/violence,” “unintended pregnancy,” and “sexually transmitted diseases,” among other problems.
All hell broke loose among feminists eager to dismiss reality.
The repository of feminine moral licentiousness, Salon, called the CDC report “Preachy.”
Ruth Graham in Slate: “The latest recommendation to avoid alcohol completely is obviously out of step with the way many ‘pre-pregnant’ people live their lives.”
Olga Khazan in The Atlantic: “Why is it that whenever public health officials talk about alcohol, they act like they’re Puritan robots from outer space who could never understand earthlings’ love of distilled spirits.”
Jessica Roy in The Los Angeles Times: “According to the CDC’s new recommendation, you’re a potential fetal incubator — a fact you should be aware of, and planning around, at all times.”
Jezebel: the report was an “unrealistic warning.”
The Washington Post : “incredibly condescending.”
Rebecca Ruiz whined in Mashable, “Its underlying message was unmistakable: Women should consider themselves first a vessel for human life and make decisions about their health and behavior based on that possibility.”
Venting her hysteria in Time, Darlene Cunha, who was joyously celebrating her child-free life with her husband at the age of 25 (“I was 25, at the height of my life, working hard and enjoying the perks of being responsible for only myself, with money to burn and youth to spare”) found out one February that she was pregnant with twins. She acknowledged, “I went through three major drinking holidays and an open-bar wedding without knowing my state.”
In the end, her twins were fine, meaning Cunha could alternately whine and rage about the CDC report. The whining: “Women are not incubators for people. We are people.” The rage: “They state clearly up top that drinking too much alcohol puts women at risk for increased violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy. This is patently untrue … Take your shaming and get it out of my health care.”
Alexandra Petri in The Washington Post: “Who knew that drinking alcohol could give ‘any woman’ a sexually transmitted disease? That’s the last time I drink merlot alone in my apartment. I don’t want herpes.”
The supposed empowering of women by the feminist movement has led to this: a world in which there is denial of reality, a world in which women would prefer to act irresponsibly and damn the consequences, a world in which the hedonistic pleasure of indulging their whims takes precedence over the possible risk to a child.
All for the sake of … what?