Vending Machines Sell Pregnancy Tests In Bars

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump
Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

A woman walks into a bar and takes a pregnancy test.

No, this is not the beginning of a bad comic’s stand-up routine. A bar in Mankato, Minnesota has started selling pregnancy tests to its possibly expecting patrons. With the swipe of a credit card, women at Pub 500 can find out if they should stick with water for the evening.

According to Jody Allen Crowe, founder of the nonprofit Healthy Brains for Children, pregnancy test dispenser machines are meant to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol, which happens more than you may think. According to a July 2012 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 13 pregnant women admitted to consuming alcohol while expecting. Of those women, one in five admitted to binge drinking.

“It’s an epidemic,” Crowe said in an interview with The New York Times. “The amount of prenatal exposure to alcohol is really not something people talk about because it’s such a guilt-ridden type of discussion.”

When Crowe approached Tom Frederick, owner of Pub 500, about installing a pregnancy test vending machine, the idea was surprisingly welcomed.

“We thought it was a strange idea at first but very quickly came to the realization that this could be beneficial,” Frederick, whose wife is a delivery nurse, said. “It’s all about protecting a child.”

Within the first few months of the July installation, the dispenser sold a few dozen tests. At $3 a test, Pub 500’s pregnancy tests are significantly cheaper than those at drugstores. The bar also provides a discretion that isn’t always available at small-town drugstores. Located in the bathroom, away from public eyes,  a woman can purchase and pee on the stick without anyone knowing.

“You don’t have to go behind the counter. It’s right here,” resident Sarah Krueger told the Times. “You don’t have to run and hide.”

Do you think having pregnancy tests available in bars is helpful? Or weird?

Plus more from The Bump:

Hot Topic: Alcohol During Pregnancy

Sorry Moms-to-Be: No Amount of Alcohol is Safe During Pregnancy

Alcohol and Getting Pregnant