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“Not on Birth Control? Don’t Drink,” CDC Says

(Summer 2016) Although some women find a recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offensive, the CDC contends that its warning is warranted. The controversy centers on a recent announcement from the group that sexually-active women should refrain from drinking alcohol if they are not using birth control.

The organization’s stance is focused on reducing the occurrence of fetal alcohol disorders, as it estimates over three million women between the ages of 15 and 44 are imbibing and not using birth control.

The report encourages women who either want to get pregnant or otherwise could get pregnant not to drink alcoholic beverages. It goes on to note that approximately 50% of U.S. pregnancies are not planned and further states that most women are unaware of being pregnant for a month or more into their term.

The CDC’s intent was to illustrate that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are totally preventable. Its experts point out that alcohol use, even within only the beginning weeks of pregnancy, can lead to irreversible behavioral, intellectual and physical issues for a child.

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