Drinking while pregnant is a seriously bad idea. But would putting pregnancy test kits in the women's toilets at bars cause a change in drinking habits?
Photo by Ibrahim Owais
It's an interesting concept that's being put into practice as part of a study being run by the University of Alaska, largely because apparently Alaska has the highest prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome in the US.
There are studies being undertaken in Australia, although NOFASD (the peak body for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disability in Australia) notes that much of the work is being undertaken overseas, so there's not good understanding of its prevalence within Australian borders. The issue remains that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a lifelong issue if your child is born with it, and the damage can be done while the mother is unaware that she's pregnant.
Hence the Alaskan trial of pregnancy test dispensers in women's bathrooms. The dispensers offer up the kits for free, which is clearly going to encourage use -- and probably more than a few off-colour jokes amongst inebriated patrons -- but I'm left wondering about the total effectiveness of such a scheme.
Obviously even one life not affected by the syndrome is a "win", but it does pose the question: If you were out for a night on the town, hit the loo and found a kit, would you stop and use it -- and wait to see the results?