INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2016) – For years, doctors have cautioned against drinking while pregnant. Now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has boldly come out saying no woman should drink alcohol if she is not taking birth control.
For the 3.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44, the CDC says if you’re not taking birth control and you decide to drink, you could be putting your unborn baby at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome.
“It feels a bit like a slippery slope,” said Amanda Miller, sociology professor at the University of Indianapolis. “The implication here is that women are always in a state of pre-pregnancy.”
On the one hand, she says, Americans need some recommendations. This one, however, may go too far.
“This feels like one more step toward controlling women’s reproductive lives,” said Miller. “How can we help these women who are pregnant that have drinking problems? But, those that are not pregnant, not trying to conceive, that really shouldn’t be the concern.”
This announcement, she adds, could have implications for the magnitude of the CDC’s future announcements.
“The CDC does so many important things that when they make a pronouncement that’s this wide spread and sweeping, we might be less inclined to take them seriously when they give us other suggestions in the future,” said Miller.
Beyond the CDC’s initial announcement, we reached out to the organization for comment. They have yet to respond.