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Friday, March 11, 2011

Paying Addicts for Sterilization?


One of the hardest things to witness in the world of addiction is when the lives of children are put in jeopardy as well as babies being born into it. There are no laws that can keep addicted women from procreating, nor could there ever be, but it is sad to think of all the children who are born with no one to look to for guidance. In order to combat this problem there have been charities who are working to help women addicted to drugs and alcohol obtain contraceptives. Project Prevention, based out of North Carolina, talked of plans to help women addicted to drugs in the United Kingdom (U.K.). The program was launched in October, offering to pay women addicted to drugs 200 pounds if they would agree to be sterilized. According to the BBC the program was put on hold because it failed to gain the approval of the British Medical Association.

The program decided to take a different route by, offering cash to females who are dealing with addiction who will agree to be fitted with contraceptive coils or implants. Thus far, according to Project Prevention 26 women have been paid. Barbara Harris founded this somewhat revolutionizing charity in 1997 after having adopted four children who born to a mother addicted to crack cocaine. She believes that money is a good incentive for women who are already struggling with addiction, having their children taken away at birth would be a lot harder to deal with. "If these women get on birth control, it's one less thing they have to worry about in their lives," she said. "These women don't want to conceive children that are just going to get taken away from them."

Not everyone shares Harris' opinion on the subject, the charity's approach was called "morally reprehensible and irrelevant" by Simon Antrobus, the CEO of a London substance abuse treatment agency. "Sex education and contraceptive advice is part of drug treatment work in this country. Women who use drugs can access all types of contraception for free on the National Health Service, including a number of long-term options."

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