Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy is Child Abuse

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I was deleated stuff on my flash drive to make more room and I came across this paper that I did for my English II class. It's a persuasive paper so it's ment to be contiversal. I didn't get to pick the subject or which side to be on but that's okay. I won't say what my own beliefs are I will say that I got an A+ on this assignment. YAY. :)

Submitted: November 07, 2010

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Submitted: November 07, 2010



Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy is Child Abuse
What are the consequences, if any; to an unborn child whose mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy? While less than .1% of all birth defects are related to alcohol, more than 90% of the affected children are born to women with a history of alcohol abuse (Daniel Rogov). The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is child abuse and is wrong. The lack of proper prenatal care is child endangerment. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is blatantly putting the child at risk of FAS. When a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy then there can be long term effects to her child’s health. The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is child abuse because of the lack of proper prenatal care, risk of FAS, and the future health of the child.
Not taking proper actions to ensure the health and well-being of the unborn child is a form of child abuse. “Alcohol is particularly dangerous during pregnancy because it crosses the placenta and reaches concentrations in the unborn baby’s blood as high as in the mothers” (Hales 46). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as the Surgeon General, advise women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to not drink at all(Hales 46). Some studies say that consuming small amounts of alcohol at the late stages of pregnancy are not at such a higher risk for birth defects, yet they never deny that there are, in fact, still risks in doing so (Musto 89). There have been many suggestions that pregnant women should no longer be served alcohol in public (Musto 90). As one case was recalled of a mother-to-be, of 9 months, ordering an alcoholic beverage at a restaurant but was repeatedly warned against it and was even refused by the waiter. The waiter lost their job for trying to stop her from making a mistake that could have endangered her and her unborn child, but the woman, who couldn’t wait another month or so until her baby was safely delivered and subsequently free from the mother’s consumption of harmful substances, was obliged with her drink(Musto 89). When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy there is negligence and lack of proper prenatal care, which the Surgeon General comments as a “risk of birth defects” (Peele 52).
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be a result of women consuming alcohol while pregnant (Peele 52). A cluster of physical and mental defects called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a result of women consuming alcohol during pregnancy (Hales 46). Milder forms of this birth defect occur in about 10% of babies whose mothers drank 1 or 2 oz. of alcohol a day (Hales 46). Even such a small amount can alter the fetus’s development in the womb, and could have been avoided if the mother was considering all the risks that alcohol has on her unborn child. Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy run the risk of having various complications during that time and their child suffers from low birth weight, irritability as newborns and even miscarriage (Hales 46). Alcohol is distributed throughout both the mother and her unborn child, when she drinks. Since the developing baby is very sensitive to toxic substances, such as alcohol, it can cause irreparable and long lasting damage (Albert Whiting). There is a federal warning on every bottle of wine, beer, and liquor manufactured for sale in the U.S (Peele 52). Women are capable of choosing for themselves but are also responsible for choosing for their unborn child as well (Daniel Rogov). In an online article titled, “The Risks of Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy Have Been Exaggerated”, there are mixed interpretations of the damage that can be caused. At one point the article states, “There is no conclusive evidence to demonstrate that moderate drinking during pregnancy can harm the fetus”. While later on it counters that,”…it is generally accepted that having 5 or more drinks per day is especially dangerous to the fetus.”(Daniel Rogov). Alcohol during pregnancy either is or is not a risk to the fetus. Since research and many cases of FAS prove that it is, then why take that risk? FAS is a consequence of women drinking during pregnancy, which can result in problems with the child’s future health and well-being.
The child’s future health is at stake when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive that, during pregnancy, the only safe policy regarding risks of FAS is complete abstinence from alcohol. Retarded growth and behavioral difficulties are seen in children of women who have consumed as little as 1 or 2 drinks of alcohol per day (Albert Whiting). As one person accounts that,”the only risk free pregnancy is one that is meant less to benefit the baby than to imprison the mother in anxiety and self-reproach” (Daniel Rogov), which gives the impression that there are no other alternative recreations besides drinking alcohol and that without drinking at some point throughout the time of pregnancy would be agonizing and full of unease. Is it too much to ask that women refrain from consuming alcohol while pregnant in order to take a step towards assuring their child’s healthy development? The birth of a healthy child is surely worth a few months of sacrifice. Studies also say that during the first trimester the fetus is at the highest risk for FAS (Musto 89). If the child was predisposed to alcohol in the womb then there is the chance that they may have a tendency to be drawn to alcohol later in life. Researchers first used the term FAS to describe children, of mother’s who consumed alcohol during pregnancy, who had sever abnormalities including brain damage and readily observable physical deformities(Peele 52). This is still true today. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol their child’s future health could be at risk from milder or more sever forms of FAS.
Women choosing to drink alcohol while pregnant are knowingly endangering their child by exposing them to harmful substances .This is a form of child abuse. The lack of proper prenatal care, future health of the child, and risk of FAS are child abuse as a result of the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Not taking proper actions to ensure the health and well-being of the unborn child is a form of child abuse. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be a result of women consuming alcohol while pregnant. The child’s future health is at stake when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Legislature should be passed stating that it is a form of child endangerment to consume alcoholic beverages when pregnant. It is wrong and child abuse for women to consume alcohol during pregnancy.

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