CDC Defends Guidelines On Drinking And Pregnancy

ABC World News (2/6, story 6, 1:40, Vega) reported on the backlash and “fierce” reaction the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is facing following last week’s recommendation that “women should refrain from drinking alcohol, saying the risk to babies is too high.” ABC News correspondent Gloria Riviera explained that “the new guidelines hit a nerve, because they go further, telling health professionals to advise a woman to stop drinking if she is trying to get pregnant or not using birth control with sex.” Many women took to social media to express outrage, “calling the advice ‘patronizing and reactionary and sexist.’” While the CDC told ABC News that it was “sorry some people took offense at our communications,” the agency stands by its advice.

The New York Times (2/5, Victor, Subscription Publication) reported that last week’s report “focused on the possibility that children may develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, estimating that 3.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 who drink alcohol while not using birth control risked exposing their infants to the disorders.” The report also pointed out that “about half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned and most women do not know they are pregnant until four to six weeks into the pregnancy.” Reacting to criticism of the report, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat, MD, said during a Friday interview, “We weren’t as clear as we had hoped to be.”

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— “C.D.C. Defends Advice to Women on Drinking and Pregnancy,” Daniel Victor, New York Times, February 5, 2016.

Posted in In The News.