In 18 states, it’s illegal to drink when you’re pregnant. In NYC, it’s a right.

The Centers for Disease Control wants you to know about Taylor Allen. Taylor’s mom struggled with alcoholism during her pregnancy, saddling him with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as a result.

Despite suffering from cognitive impairment, Taylor is “on the high functioning end of the spectrum,” and has earned an associate’s degree in electronics. Sadly, the damage that alcohol causes for many children in the womb is far more profound.

Given these facts, it would be understandable if a bar or liquor store owner refused to supply pregnant women with alcohol. In New York City, it would also be illegal.

New York’s Human Rights Commission has announced that, “While covered entities may attempt to justify certain categorical exclusions based on maternal or fetal safety, using safety as a pretext for discrimination or as a way to reinforce traditional gender norms or stereotypes is unlawful.”


This ruling is a little odd given how much the Human Rights Commission talks about “choice” on its website. There, a lot of attention is given to protecting one’s choice of gender pronoun or restroom facilities. It would be nice if the choice to not help inflict lifelong damage on a baby got some protection too.

New Yorkers should tell their elected officials that the city’s “human rights” legislation needs a serious overhaul. Because while we can argue about what is or isn’t a right, one thing’s clear: sentencing a little girl or boy to lifelong brain damage doesn’t make the cut.

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