If obtaining a pregnancy test from a vending machine is not odd enough, imagine that machine being located in the restroom of a local bar. In Mankato, Minnesota, a local bar by the name of Pub 500 made news by allowing a vending machine selling pregnancy tests to be installed in their women’s bathroom. Sponsored by the non-profit group Healthy Brains for Children to promote awareness of the dangers of alcohol on unborn children, the idea sparked mixed reactions from the public.
Although many bars put up signs adverting pregnant women to the dangers of drinking, this is the first time a vending machine offering pregnancy tests has been used to get the message across. Jay Reasner, one of the club’s operating partners, gave full support to the idea as a means of helping to protect babies. Pub 500 made history for being the first bar to have such a vending machine on their premises.
Despite the effort of public awareness groups to the dangers of drinking during pregnancy, recent studies show that over 7% of women continue to drink during this time, with almost 1.5 % partaking in binge drinking. Many women still don’t fully realize the extent of the negative effects alcohol can have on their unborn children, causing permanent problems as birth defects, brain damage and more.
Despite the anomaly of the vending machine concept, if it makes a difference in helping to reduce alcohol consumption among pregnant women, it will be well worth the effort.