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A sweeping set of protections released by the New York City Human Rights Commission on Friday aims to crack down on policies that enable discrimination against pregnant women, including a bartender's right to refuse to serve them.
"Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities, and what is or is not healthy for a fetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions ..." the guidelines read.
Although the current wisdom states that having the occasional drink while pregnant will not cause any lasting harm to a fetus, the practice remains heavily stigmatized in Western culture.
While the New York guidelines offer a progressive approach to eliminating a practice that has caused some women to feel judged and ashamed, some U.S. states still allow states to detain and prosecute expectant mothers who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs.
The Associated Press reports that although it is still required for New York City bars to post signs warning against the dangers of drinking while pregnant, human rights advocates believe in a woman's right to make her own health decisions.
The rest of the HRC guidelines focus on eliminating workplace discriminations against pregnant women, such as allowing them to make minor changes like eating desk lunches or tweaking their hours unexpectedly.
Among the politicians and commissioners to offer their support of the guidelines was Office of New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who thanked NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration for making the safety of mothers-to-be a priority.
"If we are truly serious about closing the wage gap and attacking income inequality, we need to support pregnant women," she said.