Can CDC redeem ‘sexist’ alcohol warnings to women?

The CDC just can’t catch a break this week.

They closed the E. Coli outbreak at Chipotle, opened the case on the first non-traveler in the continental United States to turn up with Zika virus, and took a lot of heat for what should have been a helpful infographic.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta-based health agency released infographics in a campaign against Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition which impacts about 1 in 20 US school children. One infographic showed how FAS can lead to low birth weight, organ trouble and brain damage which may manifest in a number of behavioral and intellectual difficulties resulting in lifelong issues.

It was the second infographic that caused a furor. Have a look for yourself:


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The poor CDC never had a chance with this which pretty much says that any woman of childbearing age who doesn’t take birth control should avoid drinking. Why? Because that could lead to a number of consequences including physical abuse, heart disease, STDs, cancer, pregnancy, and oh yeah, FAS.

There were more than a few valid questions raised about all of this on social media including why would the CDC reduce young women to bunch of baby makers in the making?

You also have to wonder why there don’t seem to be any guidelines for men regarding alcohol or anything else…

The CDC has been mum on that FAS infographic, but the new Zika transmission guidelines issued early today show that they may have gotten the message.

Their latest updates on how to avoid sexual transmission of the Zika virus are directed to women (pregnant or not) …and the men who sleep with them.

Reader Comments 0


The FAS info needs to be separated from the general alcohol abuse info, IMHO.


Do men who use alcohol run a higher risk of fathering FAS babies?

I hate the "it's all on you" message for women, but let's face facts.  It is the woman whose drinking causes this problem.Other problems are shared, but not FAS.

As a teacher who taught FAS children, you just want to smack the women in the head.  Who has not heard, over the last 30 odd years, of this problem?!


Just as smoking and low birth weight babies--does the FATHER smoking cause a low birth weight baby?  Women, we have to step up on this!  We provide the "sacred vessel."