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Awkward: Minnesota bar offers pregnancy test vending machine

Pregnancy test vending machinea

Alcohol consumption while you are pregnant is a definite no-no in modern society — but what if you didn’t realize you were expecting? If you’re in the vicinity of this Minnesota bar, there’s no excuse: Pub 500 of Mankato, MN has installed a pregnancy test vending machine so you can get your results before ordering a drink.

Pregnancy test dispenser machineIt’s certainly an odd idea with some logical sense. The dispenser is located in the women’s bathroom of Pub 500, and sells pregnancy test kits in a manner similar to public restrooms that offer sanitary towels, pads, or Tylenol for purchase. Unlike these dated machines, this new vending machine will only accept debit or credit cards, and is outfitted with NFC technology for those taking advantage of mobile payment apps. The kit costs $3 a pop and takes roughly 10 minutes before yielding the results.

The project is part of Mankato’s local nonprofit, Healthy Brains for Children, and its “Think Before You Drink” initiative which aims to promote alcohol-related birth defect awareness. Pub 500 co-owner Tom Frederick says the bar is a supporter of the cause, and simply gave the nonprofit wall space with proceeds going directly to the organization.

“This initiative is taking the pregnancy test out of the stores and into locations where they can be best used to prevent drinking by an unexpecting mother-to-be,” Healthy Brains for Children writes. “This is a worldwide movement to include testing before drinking as a responsible drinking component.”

Local customers were, at first, confused by the addition to the bar but quickly became supportive once they understood the mission.

“If you can buy condoms and whatnot at a bar, it’s logical to buy a pregnancy test. It’s less embarrassing than going to the drug store,” Theresa Carlberg, a Pub 500 customer, told Minneapolis local news KARE. “I hope other restaurants and establishments in our community do the same thing, it’s important.”

Healthy Brains for Children plans on installing at least one hundred dispensers across the city in the upcoming months, and if you’re really digging the cause, you can lend your support by donating to the initiative’s Indiegogo project.

Of course, there are some speculations that this might be a step too invasive in women’s personal lives, and that some studies say a glass of wine during pregnancy would be harmless to your unborn child. I’m not personally offended by it but it would be pretty strange to find in a bar’s bathroom. As if taking a pregnancy test isn’t awkward enough, taking one then waiting in a social facility for your results is an even more uncomfortable situation. This is a private matter that should be done in your own time and place — not spontaneously before a night out at the pub.

What do you think of pregnant test dispensers in bars? Do you believe it raises a positive awareness, or is too strange for comfort?

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