Abortions and Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy: Scare Tactics Can Backfire

Abortions and Drinking: Scare Tactics Lead to Abortions

The Sun-News in Australia reported on scare tactics used to discourage drinking during pregnancy. Experts warned that such tactics can lead women to have abortions. Abortions and drinking alcohol is a serious problem.

Scare tactics were abandoned in the Province of Quebec in Canada. That was after medical authorities realized an unintended consequence. Many women had taken a drink before they knew they were pregnant. This led a number of them to have abortions out of fear.

Dr. Debra Kennedy is director of the MotherSafe Centre at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women. She reports there is no evidence that drinking a little while pregnant could cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). She says that about half of pregnancies are unplanned. So many women will have had alcohol in moderation before knowing they’re pregnant.

abortions and drinkSome doctors suggest women have abortions if they’re worried that drinking before knowing they’re pregnancy  might have harmed the fetus. However, Dr. Kennedy disagrees with such blanket advice.

Australian guidelines recommend that pregnant women have no more than seven drinks per week. And no more than two in a day. Dr. Kennedy says these are reasonable and safe standards.

Reference: Abortions and Alcohol During Pregnancy

Lawson, Amy. New advice for mums: don’t fret over a little drink. Sun-Herald, Sept 11, 2005.


Diekman, S., et al. A survey of OB-GYNs on their patients’ alcohol use during pregnancy. Ob Gyn, 2000, 95(5), 756-763.


This website does not provide medical opinion or advice on abortions and drinking. Pregnant women may wish to discuss with their doctor the relative risks involved. Risks to their own health may increase if they abstain. Especially if they have a family history of coronary or vascular disease. Or they may raise health risk for their fetus if they drink too much.