Beth Goldblatt questions SkyNews claim on women manipulating South Africa’s welfare system

SkyNews ran a report claiming that Eastern Cape (South Africa) women were deliberately drinking alcohol during pregnancy in order to subsequently claim a disability grant for the child. Beth Goldblatt, from the AHRCentre, told the Daily Maverick that she felt the media reports in question were built on “sensationalising and generalising”.

While it is true that South Africa has some of the highest rates of FASD in the world, she said, the question of whether there is a link between alcohol abuse during pregnancy and a deliberate attempt to give birth to potentially brain-damaged children is highly questionable. “For one thing, it’s premised on the presumption that poor people will carry out irrational behaviour,” Goldblatt said. “Would anyone at all rational behave in this way? Would someone want to give birth to a child with a potentially serious disability, requiring a great deal of money and care to treat, for such a small amount of money?” To read the full story, click here.