Pregnant girls drinking for grants - report

2012-10-17 08:40
Beer bottles (File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Beer bottles (File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Authorities are probing reports that pregnant teenagers are drinking heavily in the hopes that their babies are born with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), making them eligible for a bigger grant.

This shocking claim came to light after Leana Olivier, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research said such reports had been made in the Eastern Cape, stated the Cape Argus.

The disability grant in such cases was R1 200 instead of the R280 child grant.

Olivier said in the Western Cape it had been reported that there was a trend with pregnant teenagers to drink heavily in an attempt to abort the unborn child.

“There seems to be a developing trend to drink to kill the unborn baby or cause harm to get grants… [which] suggests foetal alcohol syndrome may be much bigger than research has established. In some provinces the problem seems… bigger than HIV/Aids,” Olivier said.

A spokesperson for the Association for Responsible Alcohol Use said there was no information on how much alcohol could cause FAS but it believed it was safest not to drink any alcohol while pregnant.

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