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If you have a Vagina, Drink, and aren’t on Birth Control, the CDC has Something to Say

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According to the CDC, women who don’t take birth control should absolutely not drink, in an iffy set of statistics released yesterday. It’s common knowledge that if you’re pregnant, partaking in booze is one of the worst ideas you could possibly have, as it can result in severe birth defects, and the guidelines dropped by the CDC are obviously well intentioned. What’s questionable is why they’re naming non-pregnant woman as also being responsible for alcohol related birth defects.

I certainly don’t think that the CDC is falling into some bizarre “I saw Goody Proctor dancing with the devil!” type theatrics as it’s been reported by major news outlets, but there’s definitely a lack of nuance in the delivery of the analysis. “More than 3 million US women are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, having sex, and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy,” says the CDC, but what’s a vagina-haver to do when birth control is just breaking free of its stigma and is still not as accessible as it should be? With birth control providers such as Planned Parenthood under constant attack, it’s questionable to dump the weight of this issue entirely in the laps of women.

“Why is it that whenever public-health officials talk about alcohol, they act like they’re Puritan robots from outer space who could never understand earthlings’ love of distilled spirits?” asked The Atlantic. Good question- let’s just hope the CDC gets up to date on those communication skills.

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  • CritterGarden

    Um. “Vagina” is more sensational but it should really say “Uterus”. I have a vagina, am not on a birth control prescription, and I drink. I am 57 years old and have not had a uterus since 1993. CDC really is bad at communication. And slow to ditch the “blame the woman” approach.

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