New York City bars are already required to post signs that state “Drinking Alcoholic Beverages During Pregnancy Can Cause Birth Defects,” but that small amount of education will be the limit.
“While covered entities may attempt to justify certain categorical exclusions based on maternal or fetal safety, using safety as a pretext for discrimination or as a way to reinforce traditional gender norms or stereotypes is unlawful,” the guidelines state.
Although the law requires bars to serve expectant moms, it won't necessarily stop patrons or servers from judging.
"In general, a lot of people are paying attention to whether you're drinking or not drinking,” Carlota Fluxa, who just gave birth to her first child, told the Associated Press. She would occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, which doesn’t cause anyone to bat an eye in her native Spain.
Plenty of research suggests that alcohol -- particularly when consumed to excess -- can do serious damage to a developing fetus, but individual rights are also at stake if the guidelines go in the other direction. But the research isn't always as clear cut as it's reported. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say no amount of alcohol is safe to consume while pregnant. Meanwhile, in the U.K., the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that "small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy have not been shown to be harmful."