Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated that he was surprised by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) plan to prevent women of childbearing age from drinking alcohol.
The plans were announced by the WHO earlier this week as part of its Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030.
This new plan urges countries to raise awareness among the public about the risks and harms associated with alcohol consumption.
As a result of focusing on the effects that alcohol has on children before they’re born, it has been suggested by the WHO that both pregnant women and any woman of childbearing age should be prevented from drinking alcohol.
However, the plan has received backlash due to its discriminative nature as it prevents an individual from consuming something based on both their age and gender.
Stating that he would have to see the plan in greater detail, the Taoiseach stated, “I was somewhat surprised by the nature of that advice and the content of it, the tone of it.”
Martin clarified that he only read about the plan through the media and not the actual report.
The report states, “It is necessary to raise awareness among decision-makers and the general public about the risks and harms associated with alcohol consumption.”
It adds, “Appropriate attention should be given to the prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more.”