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Alaska to Place Pregnancy Tests in Bar Bathrooms

Are Pregnancy Tests in Bar Bathrooms the Key to Preventing Birth Defects?

Alaska is making a major — and slightly nontraditional — move to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome. Starting in December, free pregnancy tests will be placed in 20 bars and restaurants across the state. The program, led by the University of Alaska, Anchorage, hopes to reduce the state's rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, which is the highest in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 180 children in Alaska are born with the condition each year, and women in the state are 20 percent more likely to binge drink than the national average. State Sen. Pete Kelly, who proposed the two-year program, hopes the tests will get women to think twice before they have a drink.

A similar program was implemented two years ago in Minnesota by the nonprofit organization Healthy Brains For Children. While the organization is still analyzing the data, founder Jody Allen Crowe says the reaction has been positive.

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence of people being very thankful that the pregnancy tests are in the bars," Crowe tells Today.

Front Page Image Source: Shutterstock

Join The Conversation
karenlynch29071 karenlynch29071 3 years

I think this is great. Not only can it help prevent fetal alcohol syndrome and other effects heavy drinking can cause in unborn children but put it beside a condom dispenser and it may help prevent unwanted pregnancies. I know if I walked into a bar bathroom and saw that I would be checking my purse to see if I had protection or not lol. (easy with the comments guys joking around here)
To answer mnababy yes usually people start drinking before they hit the restroom but it would prevent them from continuing to drink which would lower the risk.

mnwatson1 mnwatson1 3 years

While I get the thought behind this, let's be realistic: don't people who are going out to drink only go to the restroom AFTER they've had several drinks?

Renee-Bergeron Renee-Bergeron 3 years

As a mom raising a son with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder I am for ANY effort to prevent this. FAS is the number cause of preventable mental retardation.

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