The owner of a bar in Mankato, Minn. wants to make sure his patrons aren’t doing damage to any unborn babies they might be carrying, which is why he’s installed a pregnancy test dispenser in the women’s restroom. The way he sees it, it’s just one more way to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol.
One of the bar’s patrons is an expert in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and runs an organization called Healthy Brains for Children. He proposed the idea to the proprietor.
“Strange, yes,” the bar’s owner told KARE 11. “But, it took about 30 seconds to say yes.”
All it takes is a swipe of a debit card and women can buy peace of mind for $3 before partaking in alcoholic beverages, explains the patron who came up with the plan.
“If it gives you an informed decision at that point in time to stop drinking, your baby is going to be better for it,” said the bar’s owner.
He thinks having the tests in upscale bars will target the demographic most likely to drink while pregnant — financially stable women, in urban areas, over age 30. The government revealed that one in 13 pregnant women in the U.S. drink alcohol while pregnant, and pregnant women ages 35 to 44 were the biggest drinkers.
The bar’s customers seem to be in favor of the pregnancy test vending machines.
“If you can buy condoms and whatnot at a bar, it’s logical to buy a pregnancy test. It’s less embarrassing than going to the drug store. It’s discreet, readily available, inexpensive,” said one women. “I hope other restaurants and establishments in our community do the same thing, it’s important.”
Just having the machine in the bathroom could cause women to think twice, adds the bar’s owner.
“If it prevents one child, well worth it,” he added.