CDC to Women: Avoid Alcohol—Unless You're on Birth Control!

This week, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that women who are sexually active and not on birth control should avoid consuming alcohol in order to prevent the risk of “giving birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” according to Daniel Victorfeb for the New York Times.

Alcohol has been known to cause developmental problems in children whose mothers consumed it while pregnant. But since no substantial studies have been done on the issue (for ethical and safety reasons), it is unclear just how much, or how little, alcohol is unsafe.

Victorfeb noted that “[a]bout half of pregnancies are unplanned, and most women do not know they are pregnant until four to six weeks into the pregnancy, the C.D.C. noted. The only way to ensure that the effects of alcohol would not be passed on to a child, then, would be alcoholic abstinence.”

Is this recommended measure a necessary evil? Or is an unrealistic expectation imposed on women of childbearing age? Let us know what you think!