Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed today, Sept. 9, as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day. Events to raise awareness of FASD are held on the ninth day of the ninth month as a reminder of the nine months of pregnancy during which women should not consume alcohol.
The text of Gov. Walker’s proclamation:
WHEREAS, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are 100 percent preventable by not consuming alcohol during the full nine months of pregnancy; and
WHEREAS, consuming alcohol at any stage of pregnancy can cause an unborn child to develop FASD, permanently damaging his or her development; and
WHEREAS, FASD causes a variety of physical, behavioral, and learning disabilities which put these vulnerable Alaskans at greater risk for social problems such as unemployment, involvement with the criminal justice system and homelessness; and
WHEREAS, the lifetime health and social costs in medical care, special education, and specialized services are estimated to cost millions for each individual with FASD; and
WHEREAS, these completely preventable disorders are a matter of serious concern in Alaska where FASD affects more than 100 newborns each year; and
WHEREAS, we observe, on the ninth day of the ninth month of each year, the great costs that FASD impose on our children and remember that mothers can protect their children from irreversible consequences of alcohol-related birth defects by refusing to drink alcohol during the nine months of pregnancy,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim September 9, 2015 as:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to abstain from alcohol consumption throughout the course of pregnancy, and to support pregnant family members and friends in their commitment to providing the next generation of Alaskans safe and healthy lives.
— Aug. 31, 2015