Last week, the brainiacs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to piss off every female in America by telling them that if they drink alcohol they must, MUST, take birth control, because apparently women are wildly irresponsible and prone to surprise pregnancies. Mostly, the CDC is worried that you’ll unknowingly get pregnant and continue your hard partying, boozehound habits well into the pregnancy, resulting in a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
Look, FAS is a terrible condition that affects the most innocent. It’s an entirely preventable disease that afflicts 40,000 babies each year. Feel free to freak out about those sad statistics. But what really causes FAS? Is it that glass of wine you enjoyed before you knew you were pregnant? Is it that occasional beer you drank during and while knowing you were pregnant? Or is it the binge drinking that some women do while pregnant?
Well, sadly, there’s no agreement on the causes of FAS. As Tracy Clark-Flory noted in her piece on this subject for Vocative: