It looks like a joke. A bar in the Midwest has installed a pregnancy test dispenser inside their women’s restroom. It’s a serious effort to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome.
The dispenser is in an upscale bar in Mankato, Minnesota, costing $3 per test.
Pub 500‘s owner installed the dispenser it at the urging of one of his regular customers, Jody Allen Crowe, who has written about in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and runs a non-profit called Healthy Brains for Children.
The pregnancy test dispenser costs about $1,000. Any profits from sales will go to Crowe’s organization, according to the bar owner.
A message on the vending machine tells women who drink to ideally take a pregnancy test every two weeks to prevent any prenatal alcohol exposure.
In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of 14,000 pregnant women, nearly 1 in 5 said they went on at least one binge, downing four or more drinks.
Pregnant women ages 35 to 44 were the biggest drinkers.
The CDC also estimates 1 in every 750 infants is born with a pattern of physical, developmental, and functional problems related to fetal alcohol syndrome.
Symptoms for the babies include low birth weight, small head circumference, developmental delays, poor coordination as toddlers and later in life poor socialization skills.
Crowe claims there is a link between fetal alcohol syndrome and school shootings.
He studied Minnesota and Wisconsin school shooting cases and found four of the six mothers are confirmed to have heavily exposed their babies to alcohol in utero. He then extrapolated data from 69 school shooters. His research finds that more than 80 percent of school shooters across the nation fit the profile of being affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
“This problem is huge, with far-reaching consequences and the general public is just uninformed about it; there’s a lot of denial,” Crowe said in a statement about a book he published on the subject a few years ago, Fatal Link. “I’m sure that I’m going to be up against a lot of people who challenge me, and I welcome it.”
Crowe also hopes pregnancy test vending machines will be “commonplace” in a few years.
Good idea? Would you like to see these in bars around the Puget Sound area?
By LINDA THOMAS
Photo courtesy Healthy Brains for Children