These policies were supposed to stop pregnant women from drinking. A new study says they’re hurting babies.

Forty-three states have policies targeting pregnant women who drink. Researchers say they’re backfiring.

Few debates in maternal health are as heated as the one around drinking during pregnancy.

Experts agree that heavy drinking can harm a developing fetus, but there’s widespread disagreement on whether smaller amounts are safe. Meanwhile, efforts to protect future children by getting women to stop drinking — sometimes even before they become pregnant — have been criticized as paternalistic and unnecessary.

Now, new research suggests that those efforts could even be harmful.

Read more here.