A Minnesota bar has installed pregnancy test dispensers in the ladies room. The idea here is that a woman who suspects she *might* be pregnant can easily find out before ordering drinks. If the results are positive, she’ll think twice about doing shots.
The concept originates with Jody Allen Crowe, founder of Healthy Brains for Children, a non-profit group dedicated to the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome.
Crowe hopes his idea will take off not just bars but gas stations, malls and gyms– basically places where women with unexpected pregnancies might be hanging out. This all may sound kind of crazy, but here’s what’s really crazy and really awesome:
The tests are $3 bucks a pop.
Dude! That is so much less than the standard drug store test, which runs for about $10 per and $15- $20 for two.
I think this guy may be on to something. I can imagine all kinds of women showing up at the bar to pee on a stick. If they’re not pregnant they can either celebrate with some vino or drown their sorrows. Sure the bar may lose a few shocked/enlightened and newly pregnant customers over the years, but I’d imagine selling $3 pregnancy tests will actually increase traffic (or at least make for a longer line at the bathroom.)
Crowe’s passion to help prevent fetal alcohol syndrome was inspired by years teaching on an Indian Reservation where affected children grew up with serious behavioral problems. He has published a book on the subject called, ” The Fatal Link,” which looks at the link between prenatal alcohol expo sure and school violence.”I was seeing entire families devastated by prenatal exposure to alcohol,” he tells the Mankato Free Press.
The United States’ rate of unintended pregnancies is higher than the world average, and much higher than that in other industrialized nations. Almost half (49%) of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, and the rates are especially high among the poor.
A study via the CDC this week, shows that 1 in 13 women have some amount of alcohol during pregnancy (could be a sip) and only about 1% binge drink (though self-reporting is not reliable). Five large Danish studies recently came out showing that moderate drinking– even in early pregnancy, when the developing brain is most vulnerable– doesn’t appear to do any harm. The official medical opinion in the US is that no level of alcohol during pregnancy is safe.
The more we learn about alcohol and pregnancy (even the good news about moderate drinking), the more it’s clear that women who are alcoholics deserve genuine support at the onset of pregnancy. Maybe discovering the pregnancy sooner than later (via cheap, easy-to-score pregnancy tests) could be a step towards that support?
What do you think? Would you like to be able to sneak off and take a quick, cheap pregnancy test when you’re out with your friends on a Friday night?
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Photo Credit: Eilamgil/Flickr