You’ve Got To Be Joking: Alaska Is Putting Pregnancy Tests Where?

A Republican State Senator in Alaska has finally figured out how to put an end to his state’s fetal alcohol syndrome epidemic, by doing the most logical thing possible: putting pregnancy tests in bars. That way, in between your second and third beer (because obviously no one goes to the loo before that), you can find out whether or not you’re pregnant and should regret those previous two beers. How it is that no one has come up with this ingenious way to keep pregnant mothers from drinking is beyond me. Someone please give Republican State Senator Pete Kelly a medal. He is so clearly deserving of it.

You might be scoffing at the idea, because yes, it really is that absurd, but as of December of this year, it’s going to become a reality in 20 bars and restaurants in the Anchorage area. The program is set to last two years and, according to an interview Kelly gave in March, is meant to cut the “Gee, I wonder if I —?” out of your usual Friday night out with the ladies. Seriously. Then man told Anchorage Daily News back in March THAT; those were his exact words.

More from YourTango: Are These More Effective Than Condoms?

If you haven’t already guessed it, Senator Kelly is adamantly against abortion and doesn’t believe in providing women easier access to birth control. But what he does believe in is women at least knowing if they’re pregnant thanks to his handy dandy, bar bathroom pregnancy tests. It doesn’t matter that of the 50 states, Alaska has the highest rate of FASD or that women are 20 percent more likely to binge drink in that state than any other, because alcohol isn’t really the issue. It’s all those women “who don’t want to act responsibly,” who pretty much allow themselves to be put in these situations of unwanted pregnancy. Why waste taxpayer funds on alcohol treatment centers or education about the perils of alcohol abuse? Kelly’s “solution” is anything but that, and, if anything, is just contributing to the problem.

My friend Colleen Bailey, a morning radio host, burlesque dancer, and overall woman about town, lives and works in Anchorage and, like me, is far from impressed with Kelly’s attempt at putting an end to fetal alcohol syndrome:

“I think it’s a gross misappropriation of state funding. If Alaska has a higher rate of FASD in children, it’s a direct result of lack of education and resources for alcoholics and comprehensive sex education. Pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms are not going to be effective at all. A home pregnancy test detects the presence of HCG in the urine, which doesn’t register as positive until at least 5-6 weeks into a pregnancy. A person can take a pregnancy test in a bar, watch it register negative, but actually, in fact, be pregnant.”

Bailey also pointed out that Kelly refused to fund free birth control, like condoms in bars, (which is pretty much how most of New York City stays safe), because he claimed that it promoted irresponsible behavior.

More from YourTango: The Ultimate Birth Control Guide: How Effective Is Your Method?

“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” says Bailey. “If the state really wants to prevent the occurrence of FASD in Alaskan babies, the solution is not shaming women for drinking, it’s promoting safe sex for everyone, making birth control free or at the very least affordable for low income persons, and improve comprehensive sex education.”

I’m not a religious person, but AMEN.

Pregnancy tests in bars is just one more way for Republicans to keep their control over women’s reproductive organs, as opposed to giving us the liberty to make choices for ourselves. Access to birth control and education are the keys to success if we’re to stop fetal alcohol syndrome, but that’s something the “Uterus Police,” as The Frisky’s Claire Hannum calls them, have yet to understand. If only Republicans could “police” other things, like, say, oh, I don’t know … maybe gun control? Then, finally, we’d be getting somewhere.

What do you think about pregnancy tests in bars? Tell us in the comments below.

By Amanda Chatel for

This article originally appeared on You’ve Got To Be Joking: Alaska Is Putting Pregnancy Tests Where?.

More from YourTango: This Just In: Male Birth Control Is 100% Effective — But There’s A Catch

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Christine Jones
Christine Jones9 months ago

Doesn't seem sensible to me but it's such a serious issue that it wouldn't hurt to do a small trial and collate the results. If it works, expand the programme; if it doesn't, ditch it and try something else.

Mari 's
Mari 's1 years ago

They are pro-death! In a bar? Most d it yourself pregnancy tests are most accurate in the morning! If they cared about life at all they would make sure women drinking were on birth control. When a woman decides to have a baby that's her decision not politicians or religious radicals. Maybe men should start controlling their sperm since it's causing so much trouble!!!

Dimitris Dallis
Dimitris Dallis1 years ago

Exactly. Why not to reclaim it? :)

Teresa W.
Teresa W.1 years ago

Dimitris, Alaska used to belong to Russia. One of the tsars (I don't remember which one) sold it to the US.

Kamia T.
Kamia T.1 years ago

This doesn't make any sense to me at all. But what's truly amazing is that somebody, somewhere, is truly believing that this makes a whole lot of sense and will positively impact a woman's life. How sad is that to be so out of touch with reality?

holly masih
h masih1 years ago


Rebecca Lynn Dreller
Rebecca Lynn D.1 years ago

First Palin. Now this. Alaska, stop giving the lower 48 reasons to keep you on our "Alaska really isn't a state just like Hawaii" list. "The Last Frontier" sure pumps out a lot of weirdos. But not as many as Southern California. Ohhh snap!

Ziv Adaki
Ziv Adaki1 years ago

good info

Ziv Adaki
Ziv Adaki1 years ago


Dimitris Dallis
Dimitris Dallis1 years ago

From the headline I read: Alaska is Putin's.
After the article I feel better :)