Think Before You Drink

As a nation, the United States harshly punishes underage drinkers and motorists who drive under the influence. There needs to be more laws to prevent these criminals from harming innocent people in our community. Sadly, there are many people around you that have committed similar offences related to alcohol that go free for crimes committed against their families. These people are mothers of children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a condition caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Birth defects, physical deformities, and mental retardation are the most extreme effects of FAS. According to the CDC, in the United States, 1 in every 1000 live births will show signs of FAS. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome not only occurs in children whose mothers abuse alcohol; it can happen to any woman who drinks during pregnancy. Many people believe an "occasional" drink during pregnancy is safe. The latest research shows that as little as two drinks in early pregnancy can kill developing brain cells. For that reason, no amount of alcohol is considered safe for a pregnant woman.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there though. Scientist have proven that most children with learning disorders, vision or hearing difficulties, and behavioral problems can be related back to milder forms of FAS. This is the greatest problem with FAS, in my opinion. For example: A mother drinks one or two alcoholic beverages while she is pregnant with her first child, when it’s born the child appears fine. But later on in that child’s life though, it must attend Special Education or take medications for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). But the mother doesn’t realize this is the result of her actions, and she feels more comfortable consuming alcohol when she is with child. Finally, as the pattern continues she will bear a child with a deformed face and damaged organs and wonder why her other children weren’t affected before; When actually she was inflicting damage all along. I understand this pattern because this is the story of my adopted younger sister’s mother. We consider ourselves lucky that Nadia is only in Special Ed, diagnosed with ADD and hearing difficulties, because her younger brother’s entire body suffers from retardation and deformities inside and out. It is because of his extreme condition that my family could not adopt him, and his life has come to an end soon before it even had a chance to start.
I believe that there should be laws to punish women whose children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, in the same manner as a child abuse case. This is something I feel strongly about not only from my own personal experiences but because of the cold hard facts. There are many warnings all around us, telling women not to consume alcohol while pregnant; by law when a couple registers for a marriage license, they must be given a brochure on FAS, and all liquor companies and stores have warning labels on their products as well. If there are so many laws in our nation that are in place to prevent FAS and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is completely avoidable, then why is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome still present in our world? These women should face the consequences for their complete negligence, the damage done to their children is no different that physical, sexual or mental abuse. When something as terrible as Fetal Alcohol syndrome is preventable, then why take the risk?





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Freedom-Isnt-Free said...
Jun. 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm
Hey this is a good article, my adopted sister(Actaully both of are adopted from Russia) had FAS, she has to live at a special school to help her, and has to take a boat-load of medications.  Anyway, thanks for writing this, FAS is something that's rarely talk about it seems.
 
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