I’ve got a piece up today on Reproductive Health Reality Check about state officials who want “universal” screening of pregnant women for alcohol use in an effort to combat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is real, prevalent and scary, but I still hope this process isn’t used to shame and scare women.
I talked to Janet Sharkis, Executive Director at Texas Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities, about the initiative, which includes five questions and an “intervention” that basically amounts to handing a woman an information pamphlet. Sharkis says the quick conversation between a woman and her doctor (or other medical provider) is proven to help reduce alcohol use and FAS.
There’s also the question of whether in Texas, where so many women are already uninsured and struggling to get prenatal care through an increasingly defunded Medicaid, this is even feasible. Read the rest here.