Next time Alaskan women belly up to a bar there may be more than just beer on the menu. The Last Frontier state is offering pregnancy tests in women’s restrooms at bars in an effort to lower their fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) rate which is currently the highest rate in the US.
Fox News reports about the state-funded program that is experimenting with ways to drive home the message about the dangers of drinking while pregnant (like brain damage and low growth rate). Researchers from the University of Alaska are hoping that posters on the pregnancy test dispensers will encourage women to take part in surveys to help with the ongoing project.
With Alaskan women of a child-bearing age 20% more likely to engage in binge drinking, it’s important that they find out as early as possible when they are pregnant. Fetal alcohol syndrome can occur as early as the first month of pregnancy and cause permanent damage to the unborn child. One of the project’s contributors Jody Allen Crowe hopes that what they are doing in Alaska will make a difference. She says, “This is not a strategy for the chronic alcoholic who is drinking regardless of whatever message they see. This is really focused on the 50 percent of unexpected pregnancies, to find out they are pregnant as early as possible.”
What do you think of Alaska’s initiative to lower the FAS rate by placing pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms?
Do you think this strategy can help lower their FAS rate?
My first thought is how expensive it will be to provide them, second is when a girl is drunk how do you know she will remember what the result is or will she even use it properly. On the other hand, they could always take one home to take later. I also feel like people would go to the bar just for the tests and also is there a limit they can take?