Governor Murkowski issues FAS Awareness Day Proclamation
September 09, 2004
In conjunction with FAS Awareness
Day, the Department of Health and Social Services Division of
Behavioral Health and the Governor's Office have developed a
series of public service announcements to help educate Alaskans
about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Several
of the spots feature the Governor and Nancy Murkowski talking
about their concerns related to fetal alcohol syndrome. The series
begins airing across the
FAS Awareness Day 2004 marks the sixth year for this international awareness event. It arises from parents and caregivers of children, youth and adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) coming together to increase awareness about the affects of prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Communities from across Alaska, from Nome to Ketchikan, hosted activities to celebrate International FAS Awareness Day. Alaskans were asked to take time for a "minute of reflection" at 9:09 a.m. (the ninth minute of the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month) to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should abstain from alcohol. Events include mayoral proclamations in Anchorage and Kenai; ringing of bells at 9:09 a.m. in Anchorage; ringing of bells and a breakfast sponsored by the American Legion in Kenai; and viewing of "A Life Sentence" on the local Kotzebue/Kiana station throughout the day. In Ketchikan, a movement of silence was held at the Men and Women Wellness Conference which at Ted Ferry Civic Center with a discussion during the conference on FASD. The broken cord (symbol of FASD) will be distributed throughout the Ketchikan community and there a rally at the downtown tunnel was planned at 5:00 pm.
FAS is 100 percent preventable, yet it is still the leading cause of mental retardation in Alaska and the United States. If women do not drink alcohol during pregnancy, alcohol-related birth defects will be eliminated. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy - any alcohol consumption during pregnancy has the potential to harm a growing child.
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