Pregnancy tests that cost three items on a dollar menu may be coming to a vending machine in a bathroom near you.
According to the Star Tribune, $3 pregnancy kits will be available in participating bars and restaurants in Minnesota to help women avoid consuming alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
A Brainerd-based nonprofit organization made these affordable tests as a result of a government study that showed one in 13 women reported consuming alcohol while pregnant.
Jody Crowe, the organization’s founder and executive director, said that she hopes to make the kits available "worldwide in locations where women can test before drinking alcohol rather than waiting until a month or two into the pregnancy." A report released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 14,000 pregnant women were surveyed from 2006 through 2010 and asked them whether they drank alcohol the previous month and how much. Of those who said they had, nearly one in five acknowledged binge drinking in that time period -- downing four or more drinks.
Crowe added the dispensers would ultimately allow women “to take a pregnancy test in the privacy of the restroom without having to purchase a pregnancy test over the counter. In a small community, purchasing a pregnancy test can be an embarrassing event and expose the woman to the gossip of the town."
Pub 500 in Mankato, Minnesota will be the first establishment to carry the machines. If the tests are a success in this area, other bars and restaurants may follow suit in the near future. The organization is currently working to get over 100 dispensers in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.