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

No Charges: Outcome
Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area.

Following a lengthy and complex investigation, charges are not being laid by Police at this time regarding 8 incidents involving 7 victims and 5 suspects. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news