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New York bars must serve pregnant women

Policymakers in New York have released new guidance which compels bartenders to serve pregnant women alcohol if they ask for it.

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New York bars must serve pregnant women alcohol

Published on Friday 6 May by mayor Bill de Blasio and human rights commissioner Carmelyn Malalis, the document aims to precisely state what actions constitute discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.

The purpose of the document is to ensure that pregnant women are not discriminated against by employers and are provided a safe environment to work in.

The guidelines read: “Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities and what is or is not healthy for a foetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions.”

Given examples of violations in the document include “a bouncer denies a pregnant individual entrance to a bar based on the belief that pregnant individuals should not be going to bars and/or drinking alcohol” and “a restaurant policy that prohibits staff from serving pregnant individuals raw fish or alcohol”.

While New York City requires restaurants to post warnings that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects, commission officials now state that health decisions are the responsibility of the pregnant woman, not a bartender.

Last year, the British Medical Association issued its own guidelines saying pregnant women should not drink alcohol at all.

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