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Why Are There Pregnancy Test Dispensers in Bars?!

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In an effort to combat Fetal Alcohol Spectral Disorder (FASD) in Alaska, the state has decided spend $400,000 to put pregnancy test dispensers in bars as a part of a larger effort to determine “if posters that warn women against drinking while pregnant work better when pasted on pregnancy test dispensers rather than simply hung on a wall,” according to the Anchorage Daily News. Time Magazine reports that the initiative will be implemented in December.

The state hopes that this effort will bring down Alaska’s FASD rate, which stands as the highest in the country. Condoms, not funded by the state, will also be available, but the initiative aims more to prevent the unexpected pregnancies of Alaskan women. In a previous interview, Republican Senator Pete Kelly said, “This assumes that if you know (you are pregnant) you’ll act responsibly. ... But if we have a pregnancy because someone just doesn’t know, that’s probably a way we can help.”

The project will consist of putting the dispensers, labeled with messages about FASD, in a few cities and rural areas. Healthy Brains for Children, a nonprofit located in Minnesota, hopes to implement similar programs in California, Arizona, Michigan, and Canada. Jody Allen Crowe, the founder, said, “We want to give a woman every opportunity to learn her pregnancy status as early as possible so she can make an informed decision on the health of herself and her baby.”


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