FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — If you saw a pregnant woman drinking would you stop and say something? That’s what one organization tested at the Minnesota State Fair.
“We’re trying to bring the issue of drinking during pregnancy a little bit more to the surface,” said Emily Gunderson with the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
The non-profit hired an actress wearing a fake belly to stand in front of Leinenkugel’s Lodge drinking a beer. The actress stood in the same spot for some time with another friend as cameras recorded reaction from people.
Fairgoers walking by took notice, but refrained from saying something. Many walked away shaking their heads with disappointment. Joelle Denning and her family were some of them.
“It’s really none of my business,” said Denning. “She looked like she was in her last trimester. And my doctor told me I could have a glass of wine or beer in my last trimester.”
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
Denning works at a detox center and said she knows first-hand what alcohol can do to an unborn child.
Each year, 8,500 children are born inMinnesotawith prenatal alcohol exposure according to MOFAS. Nationally Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders affects about one in every 100 live births.
“It’s not illegal for a pregnant woman to drink,” said Gunderson. “Our organization just wants to make sure women have good accurate information before they make those choices.”
Gunderson said there are many people who don’t know drinking during pregnancy can harm an unborn child. She said there’s also many who are misinformed and added there is no alcohol that’s safe during pregnancy.
“We want to bring the whole issue to the surface and get people to just take notice,” said Gunderson.
The reaction video will placed on YouTube for fetal alcohol awareness month, which starts in September.