WHO call to stop women of childbearing age from drinking alcohol sparks fury


The World Health Organization has been accused of sexism after it released a draft report that called for banning women of “childbearing age” from drinking alcohol.

The controversial opinion was presented in the WHO draft of its Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030, which urges countries to raise public awareness of the risks and harms associated with alcohol consumption, with particular emphasis on the impact on children when exposed to alcohol. while still in the womb.

In order to mitigate these impacts, the organization suggests preventing not only pregnant women from drinking alcohol, but all women of “childbearing age”.

“Appropriate attention should be paid to the prevention of initiation into alcohol consumption in children and adolescents, the prevention of alcohol consumption in pregnant women and women of childbearing age,” said the report.

Under the advisory, action would be taken to prevent millions of women from drinking alcohol simply because they are considered to be of childbearing age.

The report sparked an instant reaction, with Matt Lambert, CEO of The Portman Group, the UK’s alcohol regulatory and social responsibility body, calling the advice “sexist and paternalistic.”

“We are extremely concerned about the WHO call to countries to prevent alcohol use among women of childbearing age in their latest action plan. As well as being sexist and paternalistic, and potentially restricting the freedoms of most women, this goes way beyond their remit and is not rooted in science, ”Lambert said.

“It is wrong to sow fear in this irresponsible way and to associate the risks of alcohol for women with those of children and pregnant women.

Social media users were quick to lash out at the organization, with many calling the suggestion “disturbing.”

“Related to this is a rather troubling idea that the goal of ‘women of childbearing age’ is to have children. What if some of these women chose not to… or couldn’t? Will they need permission to have a drink, or will they be banned anyway? A Twitter user wrote.

Another user wrote: “Just to be safe it is best to lock all women of childbearing age on ‘health ranches’ where they are not allowed to drive up to elevations above 8,500. feet above sea level, to take hot showers, to eat raw oysters, or use the acne medication Accutane.

The Australian National Council for Health and Medical Research reports that the safest option for women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding is to refrain from drinking alcohol.

The more the mother drinks and the more often she drinks, the greater the risk of harming the unborn child.

However, there is no law in Australia that prohibits pregnant women from drinking alcohol.

Alcohol Change UK Managing Director Dr Richard Piper said The telegraph: “Drinking alcohol early in pregnancy, before many people even realize they are pregnant, can be very damaging to the fetus.

“It’s important that people understand these risks, but it’s also essential that we balance this with the right of every adult to make informed decisions about what we do with our bodies, regardless of our age or gender,” did he declare.


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