Bar Gets Pregnancy Test Vending Machine for Female Customers

Healthy Brains for Children, a non-profit organization in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, wants to reduce the incidence of fetal alchohol syndrome. So it plans to put 100 vending machines in bars to sell pregnancy tests. The idea is that women who suspect that they may be pregnant can check before taking a drink and potentially harming a child's development. There's already one at a bar in Mankato:

Pub 500 co-owner Tom Frederick told ABC News that all proceeds go directly to the organization.

"I don't make a dime on the machine," he said. "We just gave them wall space." Pub 500 supports their dedication to reducing the number of children born with learning disabilities owing to prenatal alcohol exposure.

"It was another worthy cause," he said.

A sign posted above the pregnancy test dispenser warns about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. "A pregnant mother should not be drinking, and there are many cases where she may not even know that she is pregnant," it reads.

Link -via The Mary Sue | Photo: Healthy Brains for Children

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I have to respectfully disagree. This could only lead to outlawing women's ability to drink if it were a mandatory test before serving the first drink of the night. "Hi, I'm John, I'll be your bar tender for tonight, please pee on this stick."

I think the problem is the timing. How many women make a bee-line for the restroom the second they get to the first bar of the night?

In defense of this concept, fewer than 50% of women ovulate at the "standard" time (day 15) within their cycle, or even have a regular cycle, for that matter. On top of that, even taking "the pill" with perfect daily timing, it is still not an infalable form of birth control, producing an estimated 2 pregnancies per 1000 users. I think this is a good gesture, at least providing women with a "well.. what if?" means of last minute check, allowing them to take responsibilities for their own bodies and actions. The one down side is that pee sticks are only so accurate, and only starting so many days after conception, AND some women don't produce enough pregnancy hormones to give a positive test for even the first week or two after their missed period. A period can be missed or late for many reasons, including stress and poor diet, and on certain forms of birth control, like the mini pill, there is no regular period to rely on as an "I'm not pregnant" note.

This concept is far from perfect, but I think it is a good idea and will be helpful to many women. I would rather they find out at the last minute than take that drink.
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This is awful. It treats women as if they are not smart enough to know that they are pregnant before going to a bar. If a woman is truly concerned about this, she will likely have already taken the precaution of a pregnancy test before going out with her buddies. All this does is make a political statement, demean women, and set us one more step away from outlawing women's rights to drink at all.
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