The Learning Channel (TLC) prides itself on showing unconventional lifestyles and documentaries, but has it crossed a line with its new show "Birth Moms"? The public has made its feelings known about a particular birth mom whose lifestyle could be endangering her unborn child.
Kandice is 23, has two children, and got pregnant from a one-night stand; she is considering giving up this latest child and is the focus of the new special "Birth Moms." She was seen smoking and drinking during the segment, which sparked immediate, and severe, backlash for the show and its star, Kandice.
At one point in the hour-long special, Kandice becomes angry when an officer takes away her driver's license after she is caught shoplifting and enraged when she can't order an alcoholic beverage due to a lack of ID.
"I've been wanting to drink for how long? I came here to have a drink. Not for the food-I wanted liquor!" she exclaimed. The footage sparked backlash and has infuriated people who are highlighting the effects of conditions like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
According to the Mayo Clinic, "FAS is a condition that results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Problems that may be caused by fetal alcohol syndrome include physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties and behavioral problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible."
The Clinic also warns: "There is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy. If you drink during pregnancy, you place your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome."
While it's unclear just how much Kandice drinks throughout her pregnancy, her unborn child has been put at risk. To make matters worse, she has smoked throughout her pregnancy as well, adding an even higher risk that the baby will be born prematurely or have illness at birth.
The TLC website states: "'Birth Moms' focuses on the lives of three pregnant young women living at an adoption center in Utah while struggling with the decision about whether or not to put their babies up for adoption. Follow these troubled mothers-to-be on their journey to childbirth…"
People have sounded off about the show and Kandice's episode in particular. "My mother and I were watching this a few hours ago, and I admit I was almost yelling at this woman on TV. If she expressed any remorse for smoking and drinking before having her child, I didn't see it," Ame Hughes wrote on the Huffington Post's website.
"As an adoptive mother, I am horrified at this portrayal of expectant mothers-but even worse is the fact that an agency participated in it and thereby exploited everyone involved," noted user sahm1.
Robert Tier asked: "Anyone like me have an issue with TLC showing this on air for its 'shock' value?"
There is no word on whether TLC has plans to pull the show from its line-up.