Bars in Alaska offer free pregnancy tests




When I was trying to get pregnant I would have been in those bars everyday during certain times of the month. Those little suckers add up when you can't get pregnant. The State of Alaska must be getting a deal on them because I couldn't find the pee on the stick variety that's not in a dollar store for less than $10 a box. (But I was in Canada)

But it's an interesting thought that it would make someone drink less. However, if you're trying to stop fetal alcohol syndrome, I'm not sure if you accidentally got pregnant and were an alcoholic that you would have the willpower to stop drinking cold turkey without major help. It would be interesting to see a proper study.


You can get pregnancy tests at Walmart in Phoenix for 80 cents (yes, 80 cents) a stick. These tests are for only when you're already late, though, and aren't as sensitive as the more expensive ones, and probably have a bigger failure rate.

This whole thing comes off as condescending and patriarchal, though, and I'm not sure it's really going to do anything at all to curb the problem, anyway. And not all women who are pregnant while drinking are going to be at bars -- why not give them away free at the local pharmacies so that more women have access to them?

But really, giving away free pregnancy tests isn't going to stop alcohol fetal syndrome. Outreach and a better education system would, but who uses logic anymore?


This whole thing comes off as condescending and patriarchal, though, and I'm not sure it's really going to do anything at all to curb the problem, anyway.

That's sort of my feeling on it, too. Particularly given the fact that the time where you're most likely to not know you're pregnant is the time before the embryo has actually implanted into your uterus (i.e., before you've missed a period or had any pregnancy symptoms) and at that point the embryo isn't exposed to alcohol from your bloodstream anyway.

Add to that the fact that, when you actually parse the data, it's not the women who have one drink occasionally during pregnancy who have babies with fetal alcohol syndrome. While we don't know a safe level of drinking, the risk seems to be really heavily associated with binge drinking and/or drinking heavily, regularly, over a long period of your pregnancy (especially the first trimester).

I'm sure there are cases where women would like to have access to a pregnancy test to know whether they can drink or not this month. I'm not convinced that it's the lack of pregnancy tests at the bar that determines the vast majority of FAS outcomes. You'd do much much better by actually addressing the social, health, and economic factors that drive alcoholism and unhealthy drinking behaviors.

Meanwhile, stuff like this and many of the personhood laws for embryos and fetuses make me increasingly concerned about issues like the prosecution of women who have miscarriages.


But heaven forbid they offer free condoms...


The gals who drink will do so even when they know they are pregnant, and most pregnancy tests can't help prevent FAS as the time the developing embryo is most sensitive to the folate blocking affects of alcohol is in the first few weeks of pregnancy and before implantation (before pregnancy is established), because the test doesn't indicate pregnancy when you need to know. In general this is just another form of diminishing a woman's humanity. Did y'all know that the only places to get termination in AK is Anchorage, Fairbanks and outside? Yeah. You have to fly to get to clinics that will help you. Alaska used to be pro-woman.

But I wonder, if Wasilla won't fund rape kits because of $ (think your favorite governor when she was mayor), at what point does the cost become too great to offer the tests? Oh, that's right, it never will because someone private donor will.


My major concern will be when this slides over from a nice thing to "Mandatory". "Want a drink lady? Prove you're not pregnant first."

We don't have a lot of middle ground left here. Things tend to be illegal or mandatory with small wiggle room left.


This is exactly the opposite of what my doctor said.


Pregnancy Tests are available in bars in Minnesota? I've been in probably 100 different bars here in Minnesota, both in the city and outstate, and have never seen a free pregnancy test.


the time the developing embryo is most sensitive to the folate blocking affects of alcohol is in the first few weeks of pregnancy and before implantation (before pregnancy is established),

Citation, please, because this doesn't seem correct, as someone has already mentioned.


The most severe aspects of FAS occur early in pregnancy, this has been long recognized and documented. A fetus is also vulnerable of course, but that involulation occurs early (think cleft palate and midface deformities). And too the track lain down to create folds on the cerebral cortex. Alcohol is always a poison but the worst occurs early.

Don't rely on doctors to do your homework, that just diminishes your power. In my way of thinking no woman who is trying conceive should drink without understanding (or at all), but they are I charge of themselves and I myself.


I've done more research than just talking to my doctor, and it also supports a different perspective than what you're saying. Yes, the first trimester is most critical for FAS, but that's not the same thing as saying that an embryo can be damaged by alcohol before it's tied into the blood system where the alcohol would be. That's what I'm questioning. Not the idea that early in pregnancy is a critical time.


Whoah, judgement much? You might as well have swapped out "the gals who drink" for "those people".

Seriously - I think this is not a bad idea at all. It might not be amazingly great, but not bad at all Period late? Could be stress, could be pregnancy, could be a cold, could be your cycle is just naturally of a variable length.

Particularly in the latter case, humans being humans will adapt to that state of affairs, accept risk, and tend to shrug their shoulders, keeps some tampons in their purse, and accept such invitations to come out for a drink as might come their way - not putting their lives on hold just because their cycle happens to be unpredictable. Offering pregnancy tests at the bar puts the tools of knowledge conveniently into the hands of those who can use them.


So no citation, then?


"into the hands of those who can use them."

Yeah, I beg to differ on that. What about those who aren't going to bars? This seems condescending and patriarchal and completely useless.


That's a good point - why not make them available in other venues as well? Women too young to go into bars (especially in the US, where the drinking age is crazy-cakes high) also could use them.

It's not completely useless though - completely useless would be no pregnancy tests made available at all. It's just less than optimally useful.


My data is from the '90s and early oughts, right now I do diapers and kids out of school so I don't have the data in my hot little hands, it is in boxes in print outs from two moves. While the data needs me to search it to have it electronically my time and patience is limited. What I learned is solid, alcohol blocks folate and methylation, the most of when this is important is during embryo stages and blastocysts, I can't get to it in the time frame of limited comment with limited time in hand (15 minutes at a time a few times a day).


You have not shown any actual data, so I question your knowledge and supposed claims and the existence of such data.


Women know where to obtain pregnancy tests. They don't need a bartender to tell them take one.


I was never questioning that. It's not the absolute ability to get them, it's the having them there, free and convenient.

Folks know where to get condoms too, and giving those away for free at bars is also an excellent idea.