Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), said:
“These proposals - if serious - are not just nonsensical, they are dangerous. The increasing policing of women’s choices in pregnancy - in the absence of any evidence of harm to a baby - should worry us all.
“Despite a significant backlash last year, plans to include any and all alcohol consumption by a pregnant woman on her child’s healthcare record - even without her consent - are still under consideration by the healthcare body NICE. Would this now include the odd bottle of ginger beer she enjoys if there’s a trace of alcohol present?
“We should be very clear - this is not harmless. Proposals like this worsen anxiety around pregnancy which can absolutely jeopardise maternal and fetal health. Non-evidence based public health interventions like this are absolutely part of the problem which we need to recognise and tackle as a matter of urgency.”
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BPAS is a charity which sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/
BPAS will be launching a not-for-profit fertility service in 2021 to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS-funded care.