FASD Legislation 2021-2022 S.2238 H.B.4151
FASD Respect Act
Advancing FASD Research, Services, and Prevention #FASDRespect
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the number one cause of intellectual disabilities and birth defects in the U.S. FASD affects as many as 1 in 20 school age children,* underscoring the urgent need for diagnostic, clinical intervention, transitional and other support services for both children and adults. By comparison, the most recent estimate of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder is 1 in 54, making FASD at least two and a half times as widespread. Expanded public awareness of the risks associated with prenatal alcohol exposure is also urgently needed as an increasing number of pregnant women report alcohol consumption - 1 in 7 in the U.S.
The FASD Respect Act is bi-partisan legislation supporting children and adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). This bill is sponsored by Senator Murkowski (R-AK), and as of March 2022, cosponsored by these U. S. Senators and Representatives. The entire Maine delegation - Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden - have all agreed to cosponsor the FASD Respect Act.
The FASD ReSPect Act will provide federal funding on the federal, state, and tribal levels to build systems of care, and utilize existing systems of care in prevention, screening, diagnosis, intervention and treatment of FASD.
If passed, the FASD Respect Act would give hope and support to the many families impacted by this disability, not only in Maine, but across the country.
*May, Philip A., et al. Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in 4 US Communities. JAMA. 2018 Feb 6;319(5):474-482
For more details and updates on the progress of S.2238/H.B. 4151, and information on how to ask your legislators and community stakeholders to support the bill, please click the bill numbers above, and/or the NOFAS Policy link below.
Maine's Full Legislative Delegation (King, Collins, Pingree, Golden)
Cosponsors FASD Respect Act:
October 8, 2021 Senator Angus King Press Release
"King Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Address Pressing Infant Health Issue
FASD Maine welcomes his support of FASD Respect Act seeks to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Angus King cosponsored a bipartisan bill to address prenatal substance exposure and improve infant health. The Advancing FASD Research, Services, and Prevention Act of 2021 (FASD Respect Act), would assist early prenatal intervention by providing support to prevention efforts and for individuals and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is also a co-sponsor of this legislation. According to the National Vital Statistics, around 18% of infants are potentially affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol, binge drinking, or illicit drugs each year.
“Nearly 20% of infants born in America are affected by prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol – it’s an urgent, often unrecognized, public health crisis,” said Senator King. “This legislation would significantly increase support for mothers and families at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and invest in vital, lifesaving preventive efforts. Every child deserves a chance to live a happy, healthy life; the FASD Respect Act would be a major step towards making this a reality.”
This legislation will develop a more collaborative approach across state, tribal and federal governments to support the medical, substance use, child welfare, and educational issues that the mother, infant and family face after being diagnosed with FASD or a related condition. The bill would create a National Advisory Council on FASD to combat FASD as well as reestablish the Center of Excellence on FASD and related conditions.
September 19, 2021 Senator Susan Collins Press Release
Senator Collins Co-Sponsors Bill to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
"FASD is an overlooked crisis affecting millions of children and adults,” said National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) President Tom Donaldson. “This landmark bill will advance research, increase education, and most importantly provide access to critical services for individuals affected by FASD and offer them long overdue opportunities to succeed. The FASD community thanks Senator Collins for her visionary support in co-sponsoring this FASD legislation to bring much needed focus and resources to a huge societal problem.”
“It’s time for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder to come out of the shadows and be recognized as the leading known cause of intellectual disability and birth defects in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Connie Mazelsky, co-founder of FASD Maine. “We are truly grateful for Senator Collins’ leadership in co-sponsoring the FASD Respect Act. This vital legislation provides a framework and funding so we can improve diagnosis and help our systems of care become FASD-informed to improve the lives of the thousands of Mainers with this lifelong condition.”
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): History of Federal Response
This document provides background and history on the federal response to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and was prepared by The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). For questions or additional information pertaining to S. 2238/H.R. 4151, The FASD Respect Act, please go to https://nofaspolicycenter.org/the-fasd-respect-act-for-legislative-staffers/.
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