Friday, March 04, 2016

A well-meaning warning on pregnancy assailed as demeaning

A federal agency earlier this month issued a warning for women of child-bearing age: Avoid alcohol if you’re sexually active and not using birth control, because you might be pregnant and alcohol can harm a fetus.

The intention was to give women information about choices that affect health.

But the recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unleashed a barrage of ridicule and fury, as bloggers and commentators denounced it as sexist, patronizing, and alarmist. Even “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” took a few moments to lampoon a graphic that accompanied the advisory — a likely first for a CDC alert.

The backlash surprised a leader of the campaign, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the health agency’s principal deputy director. In a recent interview, Schuchat said she was worried the brouhaha had distracted from an important message.

The uproar illustrates the challenges of encouraging healthy behavior without seeming judgmental, especially when the advice touches on women’s freedom to make choices in pregnancy and childbirth.

Critics attacked the CDC for placing all the burden on women, with no mention of men’s role. They accused the agency of treating women as nothing more than potential vessels for fetuses. They questioned whether drinking was a greater risk to fetuses than, say, getting in a car or a hot tub. Some disputed the scientific validity of the advice, given that it is not known how much alcohol it takes to damage a fetus.

“Women are constantly being told what to do,” Rupali J. Limaye, a research director at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, said in an interview. The CDC’s message made sense, she said, but it came across as, “Hey women, here’s just another way we’re going to think about restricting your freedom.”



Anonymous said...

Liberal progressives have done everything in their power to remove men from the equation and now they're miffed that health messages are targeted only to women? Your body your choice...the father has no say...the pre-born baby human has no say...then it's on you. Love their inability to both logic and adult. /end sarc

Bird of Paradise said...

Liberals wont be happy until all little boys grow up to be herb gardeners,ballet dancers(as was show in the stupid movie BILL ELLIOT)and piano players becuase most liberals are the kids of the 70's anti war crowd of drug addicts and potheads

Anonymous said...

Stupid Liberals think that they have the right to do whatever they please without being judged; some of them get judged in court for their intemperate activities.

Anonymous said...

Progressives want total control of information and speech so they can control thought (yes that Orwellian). In this case they want the message that women can do anything the want just like men and anyone who points out that they cannot will be attacked mercilessly.


Storm the Abatross said...

More people were killed by drunk drivers then those killed in the vietnam war but the same hollyweed wanks that villify war vets glamorize alohol in stupid movies like SIDEWAYS

Dean said...

As a person who taught special ed for 35 years and dealt with children with fetal alcohol syndrome I can echo the warning: if you are a woman is liable to become pregnant, limit your alcohol intake. And if you are pregnant limit yourself to non-alcoholic drinks. Your future child may very well thank you.

If that's sexist, so be it.

Spurwing Plover the fighting Shorebird said...

Progrevists like in the opening Narration to the classic Sci Fi tv series THE OUTER LIMITS was We'll control all that you see and hear

Legs Sparrow said...

You know your a liberal when you want to ban all guns and legalize drugs