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FASD Awareness Day

Effective Date: Friday, September 9th, 2011

WHEREAS, healthy children are the most important resource in the state of Alaska; and

WHEREAS, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) continues to be the leading cause of mental retardation in Alaska, the United States, and all of the Western world; and

WHEREAS, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are 100 percent preventable by women abstaining from alcohol during the full nine months of pregnancy; and

WHEREAS, in Alaska, it is estimated that 16 births per 1,000 are affected by disabilities resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol, causing 158 newborns to have alcohol related birth defects each year; and

WHEREAS, FASD is a major cause of numerous social disorders including learning disabilities, school failure, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and crime; and

WHEREAS, the lifetime costs in medical care, special education, specialized services, and lost productivity are estimated to be one and a half to three million dollars for each individual with FASD; and

WHEREAS, International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day is observed annually on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, to remind everyone that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim September 9, 2011 as:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to promote public awareness of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, work with individuals and families who suffer from the effects of FASD, enhance our statewide prevention efforts, and ensure healthier communities across Alaska for future generations.

Dated: September 1, 2011

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