Right to choose: Bar owners in NYC told they can no longer deny service to pregnant women

Right to choose: Bar owners in NYC told they can no longer deny service to pregnant women

How far is the left willing to go to ensure a woman’s right to choose whether to abort her fetus? This far: Under guidelines released yesterday by the New York City Human Rights Commission, it’s against the law for a bartender to refuse to serve alcohol to an expectant mother.

“Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities and what is or is not healthy for a fetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions” in public venues, the new guidelines say, according to the Associated Press.

Carmelyn Malalis, the Human Rights commissioner and chairwoman, is quoted as saying, “Far too often, pregnant employees are denied basic accommodations in the workplace, unnecessarily putting their pregnancy and health at risk.”

Huh? Being denied booze puts a woman’s health at risk? It puts her pregnancy at risk?

This law comes from the same political cabal that has hammered Americans over the head nonstop with their supposed allegiance to science and to “consensus of opinion.” That dedication apparently is limited to the belief that the sky is falling, because when it comes to the danger of consuming alcohol while pregnant, the consensus is nearly 100%.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (formerly Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) “are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.” Among the many health deficits experienced by children born to such mothers are:

  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities

The CDC emphasizes that “FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.”

But what difference should that make to a woman who has been (to borrow Barack Obama’s phraseology) “punished with a baby”?

Another question, from a purely legal standpoint, that arises is what impact the New York City directive might have on so-called fetal harm laws on the books in 39 states. These laws are concerned predominantly with punishing third parties who may physically imperil the health of a pregnant woman or the child she is carrying. An example of this law in practice would be a drunk driver crashing into a pregnant women and causing her to miscarry.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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