Pregnancy tests are coming to Alaska's bar bathrooms

The lawmaker who introduced the legislation said he doesn't believe in increased access to birth control because it's for women "who don't necessarily want to act responsibly."
By Aileen Graef   |   June 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM   |   Comments

JUNEAU, Alaska, June 16 (UPI) -- Starting in December, women in Alaska will find free pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms as part of one lawmaker's effort to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome.

Republican state Sen. Pete Kelly started the effort to put state-funded pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms because he believes it will get women to think twice before drinking.

"If you have people who are binge drinking or chronic drinkers, we're hesitant to say use birth control as your protection against fetal alcohol syndrome because, as I say, binge drinking is a problem. If you think you can take birth control, and then binge drink, and hope not to produce a fetal alcohol syndrome baby," he said when he proposed the law in March.

More than 5,000 pregnancy tests will be available in 20 restaurants and bars across the state.

Kelly said he doesn't support increased access to contraception because he believes it's for people "who don't necessarily want to act responsibly."

Fetal alcohol syndrome affected .015 percent of births in Alaska in the last reported year.

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