Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Open Letter To Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan
Sandra Butcher, Chief Executive of the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK, has written a powerful open letter to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan in reaction to their announcement of an alcohol-free pregnancy.
Alcohol’s harm to others: the unborn child
Ms. Butcher writes:
I had tears in my eyes when I read the news that at an important function abroad you gave an official toast with water. The announcement that you both are going alcohol-free throughout this pregnancy literally stopped me in my tracks.
Number of children affected by mother’s alcohol use while pregnant is ‘snowballing’
Ms. Butcher continues:
Statistically there are more people out there with FASD than autism. It’s a ‘hidden epidemic’. Because of stigma, lack of professional training and old-school thinking, most of them will be undiagnosed and will struggle unless our leaders change things.
FASD is the missing piece of the puzzle that anyone who cares about child mental health and the success of special educational needs and disabilities reforms in our schools should be examining. FASD needs to be recognised as the neurodevelopmental disorder it is in order to open doors for access to services.
By announcing both of you are abstaining from alcohol, you hit the mark perfectly. Partners play a huge role in supporting alcohol-free pregnancies. No alcohol, no risk.
But your actions, your leadership – oh, how transformative and welcome they are.”