NYC Decrees Bars Cannot Refuse to Serve Pregnant Women

Bartenders in NYC are not allowed to refuse to serve pregnant women who order drinks


New guidelines in New York City prohibit bartenders from refusing to serve alcoholic beverages to women because they appear to be pregnant. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics says no amount of alcohol is officially safe to consume during pregnancy, and the CDC actually advised women not to drink alcohol unless they were on birth control, but still many women opt not to completely abstain from alcohol while pregnant, and in New York City that decision is officially up to them, not their bartenders.

According to the Associated Press, New York City’s Human Rights Commission issued new guidelines this week that prohibit bartenders from refusing to admit or serve pregnant women if they happen to order alcohol.

New York City already requires bars and restaurants to post signs informing customers that drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause birth defects. In the end, though, deciding how much to drink or abstain is up to the pregnant woman in question.


Pregnant women often complain about being subject to unwanted policing of their eating habits by strangers. Earlier this year a pregnant woman was even refused a cup of coffee by a barista who said the caffeine could hurt the woman’s fetus and tried to offer her a cup of decaf instead.