New pregnancy test dispensers go up in Minnesota women’s restrooms
On July 22, 2012 At 9:40 am
Responses : 6 Comments
It all started with Jody Allen Crowe, while writing his book on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in Pub 500. He asked the owner if he would like to install such a machine in the women’s restroom to prevent FAS and the owner, Tom Fredrik, said it took about 30 seconds to say yes.
Crowe wrote a book, "The Fatal Link" which examines the connection between prenatal exposure to alcohol and school shooters.
Crowe believes his program could "save a life". All women need to do is swipe their debit card and for $3 they get a pregnancy test to take in the privacy of the bathroom, instead of buying it in a store, where they may find embarrassment while buy it.
"If it gives you an informed decision at that point in time to stop drinking, your baby is going to be better for it," he said.
The program is called “Think Before You Drink Initiative”.
The hope is women will purchase a pregnancy test before she misses her period for a month or two and drinks alcohol.
The targeted demographic is financially stable urban women over 30, because women between the ages of 35 and 44 are the biggest drinkers, according to Crowe. However, according to Care2, “research on fetal alcohol syndrome rates show 3.0 per 1000 live births among Native Americans compared to a rate of 0.6 per 1000 live births among Blacks and 0.1 per 1000 live births among Whites.”
There’s nothing in Crowe’s “helping” that actually addresses the populations most at risk for drinking to the point of FAS. And that’s because it was never intended to.
Once the test, and expectations that women take them, are normalized, the voluntary nature goes away. We’re already prosecuting women for failed pregnancies and mental illness. Before long we’ll be “helping” them by monitoring their menstrual cycle and registering each pregnancy for state-monitoring.
However, some women, as well as Fredrik, say they like the idea.
"If you can buy condoms and whatnot at a bar, it's logical to buy a pregnancy test. It's less embarrassing than going to the drug store. It's discreet, readily available, inexpensive," said Theresa Carlberg. "I hope other restaurants and establishments in our community do the same thing, it's important."
"If it prevents one child, well worth it," said Fredrik, who hopes just the sight of the machine makes his customers think twice. "If you can imagine your children were born with a birth defect that was preventable, yeah, it can tug at your heart strings real quick."
Crowe stated that the profits, from the pregnancy test dispenser, would go to benefit his non-profit. He is searching for funding to buy and install more dispensers across the state in more women’s restrooms in restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, fitness centers, and gas stations in order to target women at high risk for unexpected pregnancies. Each costs around $1,000.