NATIONAL FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS DAY
S.RES.390 : A resolution designating September 9, 2004, as "National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day" sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) and cosponsored by Sen. Tom Daschle (SD) was introduced on June 23, 2004. Resolution was submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 390, which was submitted earlier today by Senator Murkowski.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
The legislative clerk read as follows:
A resolution (S. Res. 390) designating September 9, 2004, as ``National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day.''
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to proceeding to the measure at this time?
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I ask unanimous consent to be added as a cosponsor of the resolution.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, the notion of reflecting for a moment at 9:09 a.m. on September 9, to recognize that during the 9 months of a pregnancy a woman should consume no alcohol, originated with three individuals. They weren't lobbyists or public relations consultants or social marketing experts. They were parents raising fetal alcohol children.
In February of 1999, Bonnie Buxton and Brian Philcox of Toronto, Canada and Teresa Kellerman of Tuscon, AZ, all parents of fetal alcohol children, asked each other a question.
The question was, ``What if a world full of fetal alcohol parents all got together on the ninth hour, of the ninth day of the ninth month of the year and asked the world to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should not drink alcohol?'' They asked, ``Would the world listen?''
This simple question launched a worldwide, grassroots movement, organized on e-mail list serves and on the World Wide Web to ask that communities everywhere observe Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day on September 9. The first International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day, or FASDAY as it is known, was observed on September 9, 1999. In the ensuing years, the number of communities observing FASDAY has grown and grown. I am proud that my State of Alaska strongly supports the observance of FASDAY and has published a kit of materials to help communities in my State and elsewhere plan their local observances.
Thanks to the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the U.S. Senate will add its voice in support of this worldwide observance, with the adoption of my resolution designating September 9, 2004, as National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day, which is the new name for FASDAY. I especially appreciate the support of the distinguished minority leader, a longstanding supporter of the fight against fetal alcohol related diseases and a founder of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
We choose to call September 9 National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day because science has established that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is just one of a number of disorders that can befall a child born to a woman that consumes alcohol during pregnancy. The number of children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome each year dwarfs the number born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
But whatever you call it, women must know that consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the single largest contributor to mental retardation, learning disabilities and birth defects, and all of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are completely preventable if a woman consumes no alcohol during the 9 months of pregnancy.
By adopting this resolution we honor Bonnie and Brian and Teresa and all of the grassroots volunteers who have worked so hard in their communities around the globe to educate women about the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy and we recognize the States, counties and cities that have answered the call and organized local observances around International Fetal alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day.
A message is simple--alcohol and pregnancy don't mix. No alcohol during the 9 months of pregnancy, period. The world is listening.
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, and that any statements relating to this matter be printed in the RECORD.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The resolution (S. Res. 390) was agreed to.
The preamble was agreed to.
The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:
S. Res. 390
Whereas the term ``fetal alcohol spectrum disorders'' has replaced fetal alcohol syndrome as the umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy;
Whereas fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the leading cause of mental retardation in western civilization, including the United States, and are 100 percent preventable;
Whereas fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a major cause of numerous social disorders including learning disabilities, school failure, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and crime;
Whereas the incidence rate of fetal alcohol syndrome is estimated at 1 out of 500 live births and of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is estimated at 1 out of every 100 live births;
Whereas the economic cost of fetal alcohol syndrome alone to the Nation was $5,400,000,000 in 2003 and that each individual with fetal alcohol syndrome will cost United States taxpayers between an estimated $1,500,000 and $3,000,000 in his or her lifetime;
Whereas in February 1999, a small group of parents of children who suffer from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders came together with the hope that in 1 magic moment the world could be made aware of the devastating consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy;
Whereas the first International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day was observed on September 9, 1999;
Whereas Bonnie Buxton of Toronto, Canada, the co-founder of the first International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day, stated the purpose of the observance as: ``What if . . . a world full of FAS/E parents all got together on the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month of the year and asked the world to remember that during the 9 months of pregnancy a woman should not consume alcohol . . . would the rest of the world listen?''; and
Whereas on the ninth day of the ninth month of each year since 1999, communities around the world have observed International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) designates September 9, 2004, as ``National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day''; and
(2) requests that the President issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to--
(A) observe ``National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day'' with appropriate ceremonies to--
(i) promote awareness of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol;
(ii) increase compassion for individuals affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol;
(iii) minimize further effects; and
(iv) ensure healthier communities across the United States; and
FASD Awareness Day
FAS Community Resource Center