In New York City, refusing to serve a pregnant woman alcohol is now officially a Human Rights violation.
According to The New York Times:
The city is explicitly prohibiting restaurants and bars from refusing alcoholic drink orders to mothers-to-be, with new guidelines that say doing so would represent discrimination under the city’s Human Rights Law…. That would also apply to foods deemed risky during pregnancy, such as raw fish or soft cheese.
Now, I am not a lawyer, but I did spend many years working in soap operas, and they’re always having trials. One thing I learned (beyond the fact that whomever is on trial is the only character guaranteed not to be the guilty party) is that precedent is important. From precedent, we can extrapolate a lot of things that don’t seem to be covered by the initial ruling, but probably should be.
To that end, I am assuming that since one of the reasons for the above law is to, as a contributor asserts in the NYT piece, “stop infantilizing women” about the choices they make for their (unborn) children, the Human Rights infringement statute will also extend to after the child’s birth.
For instance, the next time you’re feeding your baby a bottle and someone helpfully comes up to remind you that “breast is best,” you can report them straight to the Hague. (Screaming, “You’re no better than Slobodan Milosovic!” is optional.)
The same goes for those helpful souls who’d advise that your child looks cold without a hat/socks/shoes, that the candy you gave him is making him hyper, how can you possibly feed her that processed garbage “they” want you to, what do you mean you put your child on medication, and leaving kids home alone is tantamount to abuse (oh, wait, does that last one apply only to me?)
Personally, I have no problem with the decree. But, then again, I’m a big proponent in not caring about other people. And teaching my children to do the same.
In my experience, it’s those who care about others that tend to pass laws about what said others can do with their bodies, their significant others’ bodies, and their children’s bodies, all within the privacy of their own homes and/or minds. They know what’s best for you, and the only reason you could possibly disagree is because you’re ignorant. I’m all for people caring less and keeping their noses (and legislation) out of my business more.
Plus, let’s be honest: Who really knows what’s best for themselves, much less anybody else? About 15 years ago, my husband and I were at a party with our 1-year-old, when we saw another parent feeding his toddler peanut butter.
My husband said to me, “Don’t doctors say that you shouldn’t feed kids peanut butter until they’re 2 so they don’t get allergies? We should go over there and tell them.”
“No way,” was my adamant response. “Their kid, their business. Not mine.”
Now, I’m not sure what happened to that family or to that little boy. All I know is, we followed the rules, but I’ve still got a kid with a peanut allergy. And the latest research says to feed kids peanuts before the age of 1 to avoid it.
So, in the above case, I wouldn’t have just been a Human Rights violator, I would have been wrong!
Who knows, maybe next week we’ll be told that alcohol is actually good for pregnant women and all those cases we thought were Fetal Alcohol Syndrome were actually caused by the glass bottles wine comes in. (Don’t laugh, for decades women were told to take extra folic acid during pregnancy to prevent birth defects, but now questions are being raised as to whether too much of the stuff can cause autism. Let’s just agree that nobody knows anything and leave it at that.)
So go ahead, do whatever you believe is best for your fetus, your infant, and your child.
And remember that anyone who tries to make you act otherwise is now in violation of your Human Rights. (You might want to give your mother a head’s up before Interpol comes after her.)
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