Pregnant drinking: Social experiment at the Minnesota State Fair

9:38 AM, Sep 1, 2011   |    comments
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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- The idea by the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was simple; plant a visibly pregnant woman at the state fair, have her drink a few beers and wait to see if people would intervene.

The short answer, at least for two hours on Wednesday night was absolutely not.

"We have gotten a lot of comments under people's breaths," Claire Anderson, the woman posing as a pregnant person drinking, said.

Anderson tried just being painfully visible, drinking her beer.

Then she tried direct contact, asking people for the time and even asking folks to take a snapshot of her partaking in the brew.

Not one person uttered a negative word, at least not to her face, about drinking during pregnancy.

In fact, at least a couple of people did just the opposite.

"We had some people congratulate me for drinking while I was pregnant which was interesting," Anderson said.

It was not, what Clare Anderson expected.

"Just thinking someone would come up to me and say something about you know, killing the baby with alcohol type thing but no one said anything like that to me."

So was this just Minnesota nice taken to the extreme? Were people just that hands off? Maybe.

"The more we thought about the Minnesota nice thing I guess we weren't expecting a whole lot of confrontation, more subtle glances," Emily Gunderson with MOFAS said.

The point was just to make it visible and then see how folks reacted.

The fact that they didn't told those who advocate NO drinking AT ALL for pregnant women that there is work to do.

"They are not comfortable yet approaching somebody and I think that is part of our mission yet," Gunderson said.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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