Bar pregnancy-test dispensers coming to Twin Cities

The "first ever" pregnancy-test dispenser was installed in Mankato's Pub 500 last month.
The "first ever" pregnancy-test dispenser was installed in Mankato's Pub 500 last month.
Photo courtesy of Tom Frederick.

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

For everyone here in Minneapolis who has been jealous that Mankato got the "first ever" pregnancy-test dispenser a month ago and the Twin Cities didn't, pout no further.

According to Jody Allen Crowe, director of Healthy Brains for Children, the next step the nonprofit plans to take is to install dispensers in bars in the metro area. Then, after that, the universities.

Crowe would not say which bars or colleges, but he did say that the organization plans to announce launches within the next month. He said Healthy Brains for Children has had to take a short breather since the response to the first dispenser, in Mankato's Pub 500, was so overwhelming.

"We've had people across the states and Canada and all over the world contacting us," he said. "So I said, 'We've got to stop everything and plan for the future.' But the Twin Cities will definitely be where we focus our first initiative."

Crowe would not say, however, exactly how many of the 55 pregnancy tests in the Mankato dispenser have been sold. He said only that it's been "several dozen."

"We have not met our projection," he said, adding that since the bar is a college bar, it might not be indicative of how well dispensers might do in other types of bars.

When the first dispenser was installed in Pub 500, Crowe said Healthy Brains for Children was hoping that the message would ring 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.

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

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