Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Criminalising pregnant women for drinking wrong response

Media release

4 March 2014

Criminalising pregnant women for drinking alcohol wrong response

Criminalising pregnant women for drinking alcohol will not solve the problem, says Alcohol Healthwatch.

“These women need compassion and treatment – not blame and imprisonment,” says Director Rebecca Williams.

“There is no evidence that punishing someone addicted to a substance will deter them. On the contrary it is very likely to drive them further away from the help they need.”

Ms Williams is commenting on a landmark case heading to the Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom (UK). The court will consider whether to criminalise women who continue to drink excessively during pregnancy against medical advice. This has stemmed from a local council seeking compensation for a 6 year old girl whose exposure to alcohol in the womb resulted in brain damage.

Alcohol Healthwatch works to address drinking during pregnancy and its consequences – known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) – in New Zealand.

Ms Williams says women who cannot stop drinking during pregnancy are often those who are most vulnerable in our society.

“They are likely to have an addiction and other issues such as mental health problems and may be exposed to violence. Prosecution is simply not the answer to this complex problem and we cannot respond to this issue in isolation.”

She says New Zealand, like the UK, allows its population to be bombarded with messages to drink alcohol and has a culture which pressures people to consume alcohol in order to fit in.

“We allow easy access to cheap alcohol almost any time of the day or night. We do not require the alcohol industry to provide meaningful information on their products to warn of the dangers. In addition, women are given inconsistent advice from health professionals about alcohol consumption during pregnancy.”

She says before even considering prosecution, society must ensure it is addressing things that encourage drinking, such as alcohol pricing, availability and marketing.

“We must also ensure consumers are provided with clear and consistent advice by health professionals, and that information is provided on alcohol containers about the real risks of consuming this drug.”

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news