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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Support for pregnant mothers who drink is lacking

Date posted: 26 March 2014

The Northern Territory is considering legislation to make drinking during pregnancy an offence in a bid to combat Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). However, experts say education and support are the keys to tackling the issue.

Northern Territory Attorney-General, John Elferink, said last week that a large number of children are growing up with FASD in the Territory. He said his government will consider introducing legislation that would prosecute or restrain pregnant women if they drink dangerously because the rights of the child were being infringed upon by the alcohol consumption of their mothers.

Those who have been working closely in the field, however, argue education and support services for pregnant women who have alcohol dependency is the best way to deal with a very complex problem.

Legislation will simply see more women in jail and will not stop them drinking if they go on to have further children.

Source: Radio National


Last updated: 25 March 2014
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