A handful of bathrooms in Alaskan bars and restaurants will soon be stocked with free, state-funded pregnancy tests, thanks to a new University of Alaska study, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
The school’s two-year study is hoping to find if posters placed on pregnancy test dispensers work better at preventing pregnant women from drinking than posters hung on a wall.
Alaska has one of the highest rates of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country, according to federal health statistics.
Beginning in December, up to 5,000 tests will be distributed to 20 locations, with each test labeled with a prevention message and costing the state about $1.50. The study funding totals $400,000, according to the Anchorage Daily News report.
Jody Allen Crowe, the founder of a Minnesota non-profit that has installed dispensers in bars and convenience stores, is assisting with the project, and hopes using pregnancy tests before drinking will become as common as having a designated driver.
“This is not a strategy for the chronic alcoholic who is drinking regardless of whatever message they see,” Crowe told the Anchorage Daily News. “This is really focused on the 50 percent of unexpected pregnancies, to find out they are pregnant as early as possible.”