September 9, 2021: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders describe a wide range of birth defects and permanent disabilities caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy; and,


WHEREAS, key features of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can include lifelong physical, intellectual, social and behavioral disabilities; and,


WHEREAS, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should abstain from drinking alcohol; and,


WHEREAS, prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure, early screening, intervention and treatment for affected individuals are critical for healthy infants, healthy mothers and healthy families in Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends there is no safe amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable by avoiding alcohol entirely during pregnancy and are in fact the only preventable form of intellectual disability; and,


WHEREAS, in 2019, an estimated 58.1% of women of reproductive age in Michigan ages 18-44 reported having one or more drinks of alcohol during the last 30 days and 20.2% reported binge drinking four or more drinks of alcohol on any one occasion during the last 30 days, according to the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey; and,


WHEREAS, recent studies show that between 2% and 5% of elementary school children have been prenatally exposed to alcohol and up to 70% of children in foster care have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; and,


WHEREAS, on this day, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders throughout the state of Michigan and to urge residents to learn more about the hazards of consuming alcohol at any time during pregnancy, as well as the benefits of early screening and intervention to promote maternal, infant, and family health;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, hereby proclaim September 9, 2021, as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day in Michigan.