Mankato bar installs "first ever" pregnancy-test dispenser in ladies room

Categories: How We Live
pregnancy test dispenser.jpg
Photo courtesy of Tom Frederick.
The pregnancy-test dispenser in the ladies room at Pub 500 in Mankato.
The ladies room at Pub 500 in Mankato received an odd distinction today. It is, according to a nonprofit group called Healthy Brains for Children, the first bathroom in the world to house a pregnancy-test dispenser.

Healthy Brains for Children is hoping that the message will ring loud and clear: If a woman knows she's pregnant, she will abstain from drinking alcohol. In turn, there will be a greatly reduced chance that another child will be born with fetal alcohol problems.

According to Jody Allen Crowe, Healthy Brains for Children's director, the group is hoping this dispenser will be the first of many installed in the United States, and, eventually, all over the world.

"What we're trying to do is provide tools for women to find out as soon as possible if they're pregnant," Crowe said. "By putting these dispensers in alcohol establishments, the message and the tool are right there."

Crowe formerly worked as a teacher on a Native American reservation, where he says he saw many children suffering from behavioral problems he later linked, through research, to alcohol use by their mothers while pregnant, according to the Mankato Free Press.

He continued researching the subject and then published his own book, titled The Fatal Link, examining the link between prenatal alcohol exposure and school violence. He quit teaching to form Healthy Brains for Children.

Tom Frederick, the owner of Pub 500, met Crowe when he would come in for breakfast during the time he was working on his book. The two men got to chatting, and Frederick thought Crowe's idea for the pregnancy-test dispensers made a lot of sense.

"It's the right thing to do," Frederick said. "Obviously, we looked at it as a strange idea at first, but it can help prevent problems that are 100 percent preventable."

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I'm actually a little surprised that this is the first "ever" pregnancy test dispenser in a bar. Yes, it's a little odd, but when you think of condom dispensers or feminine hygiene dispensers, this doesn't seem all that unusual. Although, to be honest, a simple poster showing "think before you drink" would suffice just as well. But seriously, in a college town, I would think a pregnancy test dispenser would actually get some use. Go out drinking with your girlfriends, talk about how you're late and you might be worried you're pregnant. Buy a pregnancy test and wait for the big reveal underneath the bathroom stall. Brilliant!


That doesn't surprise me. What's next? The morning after pill, wait, the bar will be closed then. Now what? Those pregnancy test in a bar wouldn't work anyways (not the same night). Maybe they will be able to come back and check a few weeks later to see if their pregnant when they return to the bar? Don't think this idea will stick.


I love it. There seriously can't be a better place than a dive bar bathroom to watch a girl, about to get her drink on, realize that she's pregnant.  "What's that girl? Yeah, order me another cosmo, I'll be right out, I just gotta...wait, what? WHAT? NO! NOOOOOOOOO! HE SAID HE PULLED OUT! BWAAAA" If Liquor Lyle's starts selling these, I hope they have a detector that goes off when the girl walks out of the door. Then a bunch of balloons and confetti can fall on her as she exits, like she won a contest. The good news is, there's free chicken wings on Sundays at 6pm to help unsuspecting mothers through the process. 


Maybe they should put this at the Oleander also....ah nevermind.  The people there would keep on drinking anyway.


Am I the only one who accidentally read it "pregnancy dispenser"?

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