If you’re a woman who could get pregnant, regardless of whether you’re trying to become pregnant or not, put down the Chardonnay. Back away from the end-of-the-day IPA. In fact, don’t drink a single drop of alcohol. That’s the message delivered by a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which finds that 3.3 million women are at risk of exposing their theoretical developing fetus to alcohol because they are drinking and not using birth control….
“We can’t put a number on that for any individual woman, but what we can say is that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are 100 percent preventable if there’s no alcohol exposure at all,” she said. “So that’s why we say, ‘Why take the risk drinking any alcohol during, any time in the pregnancy, even before you realize you’re pregnant?’”
Wise feminist philosopher Rebecca Kukla comments:
“We don’t tell pregnant women not to drive cars, even though we are much more certain that there’s a nonzero risk to their fetuses from each car ride than from each drink,” she said. “The ideal of zero risk is both impossible to meet and completely paralyzing to try to meet.”
Kukla argues that such guidelines are also excessively punishing. “The idea that the pleasures and routines that make up women’s days are mere luxuries that are not worth any risk whatsoever is patronizing and sexist,” she said. “And it would also turn their lives into complete hell if really taken to [its] conclusions.”
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