Researchers from the University of Alaska are trying to answer that question. It is a well known fact that heavy and chronic alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, commonly known as fetal alcohol syndrome. It turns that the last frontier also has among the highest rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the country. Alcohol use is high in the state and many women continue to drink before they are aware that they are actually pregnant. The investigators have intervened by putting up warning signs and machines offering free pregnancy tests in a several bars across Alaska including the Peanut Farm bar in Anchorage. They hope to determine whether this might dissuade women from alcohol consumption during pregnancy and reduce the incidence of Fetal Alcohol syndrome. Only time will tell.
For more details, listen to the story on NPR's All Things Considered: