‘I regret my pregnancy boozing, but it shouldn’t be a crime’

Mum Samantha Marchant says she agrees with a court case suggesting boozing mums-to-be aren't criminals

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by Closer Staff |
Published on

When Samantha Marchant looks at her son, she’s eaten up with guilt as Stanley - now 11 - was born with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) after she downed strong lager and brandy while she was pregnant.

For Samantha, 42, the overwhelming remorse is punishment enough, which is why she’s relieved that a controversial court case, brought last month by lawyers for a seven-year-old girl born with severe brain damage as a result of FOS, was dismissed.

Lawyers argued the mother - who drank a “grossly excessive” amount of alcohol during pregnancy - had poisoned her unborn foetus.

But judges ruled she had not committed a crime, and said the child was not entitled to compensation.


Samantha says: “Making drinking during pregnancy a criminal offence isn’t the solution. I wanted so badly to give up alcohol while pregnant, but I didn’t have enough help.

"I no longer drink, but I have to live with the guilt of how my drinking has affected Stanley - he has poor social skills and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - a range of problem behaviours associated with poor attention span.

"That’s punishment enough without being branded a criminal, too. There’s no excuse for harming a baby in the womb, but alcoholism needs treating, not shaming."

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**For help and advice please visit; www.eurobmsn.org **or ***www.nofas-uk.org

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