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Senate Recognizes Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day

On August 5, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution to recognize National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day (S. Res. 612).

Sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the leading cause of cognitive disability in western civilization, including the United States, and are 100 percent preventable;
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a major cause of numerous social disorders, including learning disabilities, school failure, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and crime;
  • Although the economic costs of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are difficult to estimate, the cost of fetal alcohol syndrome in the United States alone was $6 billion in 2007, and it is estimated that each individual with fetal alcohol syndrome will cost taxpayers of the United States between $860,000 and $4 million during the lifetime of each such individual; and
  • The first International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day was observed on September 9, 1999.

The resolution “calls upon the people of the United States to promote awareness of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol; increase compassion for individuals affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol; to minimize further effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol; and…observe a moment of reflection on the ninth hour of September 9, 2010, to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should not consume alcohol.”

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