Like New York City, some Cleveland bartenders say they must serve pregnant women

Like New York City, some Cleveland bartenders say they must serve pregnant women

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - New legal guidelines in New York City require that bars and restaurants serve pregnant women, the same way they would anyone else.

Here in Cleveland, bar and restaurant managers say there really hasn't been much of an issue with pregnant women ordering alcoholic drinks.

"We haven't had many issues here with that. I know one time we did with a woman who was pregnant at the bar, and the bartender pulled me aside and said she didn't really feel comfortable serving that person. I told her with Ohio state law we have to, because otherwise we would be discriminating against her, but luckily in our case she did order a non-alcoholic martini," said Jessica Cooper, general manager of the Chocolate Bar.

At the Corner Alley, general manager Michael Grasso says they also haven't had to deal much with the issue of serving pregnant women.

"We are here to have a good time and have people have fun. If they want to make poor life choices then that is 100 percent their decision," said Grasso.

Medical experts like Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an OB/GYN at University Hospitals in Cleveland, don't recommend drinking alcohol at all during pregnancy.

"The American College of Obstetrics and the CDC do not know the safe level of drinking that is okay during pregnancy. So, we recommend no drinking in pregnancy," said Gecsi.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have devastating effects on a child.

"Drinking alcohol can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to mental retardation, learning disabilities in children," added Dr. Gecsi.

All that being said, Dr. Gecsi doesn't think there should be a law on the books that tells women what they should do when it comes to drinking and pregnancy.

"I don't think any law that takes away rights from anybody, be that a woman, a pregnant woman is a good law. I think women have the right to make their own choices and can decide what is best for their body and their pregnancy," said Dr. Gecsi.

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