New legislation will ban the sale of alcohol to pregnant women.
A large woman walks into a bar... This isn’t the intro to a joke, but rather a quandary which will face liquor outlets throughout the country if draft amendments are included in the new Gauteng Liquor Bill, 2012. Liquor outlets will be banned from selling alcohol to pregnant women. The challenge this presents: How can retailers and bars tell if a woman is pregnant, or just especially curvaceous?
The legislation is designed to curtail foetal alcohol syndrome, but will be tricky to enforce, suggested DA spokesperson Gavin Lewis.
"Pregnant women in this province are in for a surprise next time they stop off to buy a bottle of champagne,” Lewis said in a statement.
According to section 53(1) of the draft legislation, a licensed liquor trader would not be allowed to sell, supply or give alcohol to minors, anyone wearing a school uniform, anyone who "reasonably appears to be intoxicated", or pregnant women.
Experts agree that women should definitely cut down on alcohol during pregnancy, if not avoid it completely, and even avoid it while trying to conceive.
Women with curves already deal with thoughtless speculation about their state of fertility from colleagues and family, now it seems that they could face interrogation should they want to go and have a quiet cocktail in their favourite nightspot.
Don’t be surprised if you find the clerk at the local bottle store staring at your belly next time you pick up a bottle of wine for your braai, and try not to get upset if he asks you if you are “with child”- he’s just doing his job, after all...
What do you think are the possible side-effects of this legislation?
By: Scott Dunlop