CDC Accused Of Victim-Blaming With 'Alcohol And Pregnancy' Infographic

| by Michael Allen
CDC Drinking InfographicCDC Drinking Infographic

A new infographic produced by the federal agency CDC warns that women are at risk for "sexually transmitted diseases" and "unintended pregnancies" when they drink too much, which some critics say reeks of victim blaming.

The infographic is part of a new campaign by the CDC about "alcohol and pregnancy," which recommends that women not drink while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant because of the potential consequences to the developing baby.

"Drinking too much can have many risks for women," the CDC infographic's headlines states. It then lists the risks "for any pregnant woman and baby": fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, miscarriage, stillbirth and premature delivery.

On the same infographic, the CDC lists the risks for "for any woman": injuries/violence, heart disease, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility problems and unintended pregnancy.

ThinkProgress noted that the infographic is "insulting" to women who drink, adding:

Though the CDC doesn’t mention rape or sexual assault anywhere in its campaign, this logic fits into a larger pattern related to the issue. (On its website, the federal agency lists sexual assault as one of the “short term risks” of consuming alcohol.) The assumption that women should avoid drinking so they don’t become the subject of unwanted sexual attention — which can lead to an unintended pregnancy or an STD — is one of the many victim-blaming pieces of advice that women regularly hear about how they should avoid being raped.

Sources: CDC, ThinkProgress / Image Credit: CDC

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