Her decision, but not a good one

Last week at work I was faced with a big decision. A Woman, who we know well at work, who is also quite pregnant right now, came into the bar. She had obviously been drinking and she ordered some more drinks for herself and her friends who were with her from my boss.

First of all, I was pretty shocked that my boss, who has 3 children, served her the alcohol, but also that the friends who she was there with were encouraging her to drink when she is pregnant. So when she went to sit down at a table, I asked my boss what we can do about that, and why he served her when it is harming the child inside of her. He said that there is nothing we can do about it because it is her decision and we are not allowed to get involved in it.

This situation was really hard for me because I am all for women being in charge of their own bodies and decisions they make about their bodies, I am also pro abortion. But I really had a huge issue with her harming the baby that she has chosen to keep and carry as far along as she has. So I felt really stuck. If an adult came into my work with a small child and was forcing alcohol down their throat, I would be able to have them arrested, but isn’t what she is doing pretty much the same thing?

So I made the call, and next time she came up, and was alone, I leaned across the bar and I said to her that I am not comfortable serving her alcohol while she is pregnant, and that I don’t know her circumstances, but if she needs someone to talk to then I am around. I must mention that I know this woman quite well; I live in a small town, so I know almost everyone in it. So she went and sat down, quite obviously annoyed at what I had done, and I was left feeling a mixture of stupid and relieved that I was not aiding in harming her baby. Needless to say, my boss was annoyed with me, and so were her friends. But I really didn’t know what to do in that situation.

I know that perhaps she didn’t have the option of having an abortion; I know that maybe she really is unprepared for this baby and I know she has been left by the father of the baby who is married to another woman who he has his own children with. I really did not want to disrespect those things, as I know that her circumstances may not be simple, but what could I do?

So, my question is, is what I did going against what I believe in that woman should have choices about their own bodies? Is there not a time when really we should be able to step in and help the child even when the mother is unwilling? Such as stop serving her?

This whole thing has had me feeling ill all week. I don’t want to isolate this woman, but I do know the effects of alcohol on an unborn baby and I really could not sit back and watch that happen.