Monday, May 14, 2012

Up For Discussion...

I know this is usually a very light-hearted blog, but every once in a while I run across an issue that I can't help but talk about. The topic at hand is whether or not it is ethical to pay drug & alcohol addicted women $300 to get sterilized? The organization Project Prevention offers drug addicts (mostly women) $300 cash if they agree to sterilization or long-term birth control. Founded in North Carolina, the program has expanded to the UK and hopes to work in Kenya, Ireland, and Haiti.
Not so fast, say critics, including Niamh Eastwood of Release, a drugs law organization in the UK. “By encouraging sterilisation, Project Prevention is taking away reproductive rights for women at a point when they are not able to make a clear decision about such an important issue,” Eastwood wrote in a lengthy editorial. “Harris’s retort is that, if they are not able to make an informed decision about their health, they are not able to look after a child. However, it is not that simple. As a society, we must protect the fundamental human rights of every person, including their sexual and reproductive rights.”
There are accusations that Harris focuses specifically on black women, and others who say that Harris views all addicts as “eternal victims,” and doesn’t seem to give a care what happens to these women as long as unwanted babies are not born.
Other critics question the wisdom of giving cash to drug addicts at all. The project’s founder, Barbara Harris, has adopted drug-addicted babies and says most of the women contacted have already had children and know what they’re doing. Link

As a father of two who lives in a small town with plenty of poverty, alcoholism and drug addiction, I think it's an excellent idea. Moreso, my wife used to work as a case manager for community services, and the horror stories she would come home with regarding neglected children were simply heartbreaking. As a matter of fact, I think men should be targeted just as much as the women (it takes 2 to play, after all). As for the ethical dilemma of giving cash to drug addicts; they will find a way to get the drugs no matter what - never in the history of mankind has a drug addict declared; "well, I'm plum out of cash, guess I'll get clean today".
Any thoughts?


  1. I say do this for men and women. Don't make it a law, but give people the opportunity and "choice". There's too many people on this planet turning everything to shit. I support lessening the population, by any means necessary. Mass genocide included. ;)

  2. While I am certainly not in favor of genocide, I don't believe that it should be forced on anyone. I think this group has the right idea, but I would to see them reach out to males just as much as females.