Cash offered to addicts, alcoholics who agree to long-term birth control

By chillinwill · Dec 17, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Folks at downtown's Ronstadt Transit Center on Tuesday afternoon had a way to make a quick $300.

    The only stipulation was that the people be drug addicts or alcoholics who agree to long-term birth control.

    The group Project Prevention, started by Barbara Harris in 1997, has so far paid more than 2,800 men and women across the nation.
    Harris, who hails from Harrisburg, N.C., was in Tucson with the group's Fresno, Calif., chapter leader Stephanie Cruz to spread the word of their program in Old Pueblo.

    The nonprofit's mission is to stop the wave of babies that are born addicted, unwanted or with health problems associated with their mother's or father's substance abuse.

    "It's a terrible problem here in this city," said Tucsonan Natalie McGee, the woman who invited the group to town. "We have an enormous drug problem on the border and this is the main corridor."

    McGee, who volunteers for several children's organizations, such as In My Shoes Inc., CASA and the state's Foster Care Review Board, sees some of the horror first hand.
    "So many children are being abused and dying," said McGee, 59. "Their parents did heroin and crack and cocaine and they never live to see their first year."

    Both Harris, 56, and Cruz, 51, adopted babies that were born to either alcoholics or addicts. Harris has four adopted children. Cruz has eight.

    The first one Cruz adopted was her sister's baby.

    "My sister was a drug addict," Cruz said. "She gave birth when she was four and a half months pregnant. The baby weighed 1 pound 8 ounces, needed a feeding tube and had his intestines on the outside of his body."

    The child is now 17 years old and doing fine, as are the rest of her adopted children, but Cruz said there has been a lot of work and a lot of medical care involved.

    While none of the folks at the Ronstadt Center said they were drug addicts or alcoholics, all were eager to take a flier and learn more about Project Prevention.
    "I think it's good," said Nikkitta Stephens, 19. "It will get more people on birth control so they won't have unwanted kids."

    Lettie Wofford, 32, agreed. "Those babies come all deformed and stuff," she said.
    Camron McAllister, 22, was at the bus station with his new baby, 3-month-old Bryant Andrew McAllister. While he said Bryant was a "pleasant surprise," he also knew several people who could benefit from the program. "It's a good idea," he said.

    Harris said the reception everywhere they go mirrors the one received in Tucson, with very little opposition.

    Acceptable long-term birth control includes tubal ligation, Depo Provera shots and IUDs for women, or a vasectomy for men.

    The group verifies that the person is, in fact, an addict or alcoholic and that the procedure has been completed before any money is paid.

    "Those who oppose what we're doing should be willing to step up and adopt a few of the babies," Harris said. "These women can't raise these children."

    December 16, 2008, 5:15 p.m.
    Tucson Citizen

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  1. beentheredonethatagain
    I think this is long over due. For a long time now I have thought this type of cash for not having un-wanted conseptions.

    I am in favor of this program country wide.
  2. fnord
    While its a good idea for heavily addicted people to not have access to small children,i cant support this. This reeks of eugenics.... An adicted person who has a fix to feed will not consider the long term efects of sterilization or chemical birth control methods.
  3. Laudaphun
    SWIM couldn't agree more. Whatever a person wants to do that doesn't impact other people is their own business. This actually an amazing idea, that is so simple yet so overlooked. The only thing I would have to add is that when a person is fiending, they are fiending. Sometimes people make some real bad choices when they are young and learn from them and move on... a decade later no one might have ever guess at the past exploits of the person.

    A case by case basis would be good, especially for the younger people who have a chance to clean up and lead a happy life, complete with family, house, car, and dog. Perhaps more permanent birth control methods for those who are likely to be permanent addicts. And temporary or at least reversible methods for those who might have a chance.

    SWIM's marmoset has made some bad decisions, but looking at something like this really makes her realize how bad things could have gotten. She really doesn't think she would have went this far, even when at her lowest.
  4. beentheredonethatagain
    you make my point thank you Fnord. If an addict wont consider the long term efects of birth controll, then do you think they will consider the long term effects of a unwanted child? geeez
  5. fnord
    Theres such a thing as adoption or better yet abortion for those who cant stop there drug hobby long enough to give birth to a healthy baby. Im not saying i have the answers to this problem(or that some people shouldent breed) i just find it morally wrong to put soeone i a situation where they have little control over there choices,even if its there own fault for not having the option to make an educated responsible decision. Similar to how i feel its wrong for the creators of "bum fights" to exploit poor homeless people and drug addicts .
  6. Sven99
    I think this really depends on the nature of the 'long term birth control' - if long term is afew years then thats a sensible idea. If long term is permanent then thats incredibly scary.

    The only 'long term birth control' available to men (to SWIM's knowledge) is a vasectomy - which is permanent but reversible (probably not cheap to reverse though). For women it could mean the implant (which lasts up to 5 years) or it could mean a permanent operation.

    If it is permanent, then as said by other posters, that is tantamount to eugenics. And the fact that they offer addicts money to do it is seriously unprofessional - addicts to certain illegal drugs(funnily enough) have a habit of doing stupid things that they regret for fix-money. And offering cash for sterilisation will make it hard for them to give the decision full consideration.

    I also find the hypocrisy of this idea pretty disgusting - pious types complaining of drug use while giving junkies the cash for their next fix. I'm all in favour of giving junkies their next fix if it will keep them from crime - but then I dont support prohibition, and I certainly don't support sterilisation of people the state finds unpleasant, even if it is voluntary.
  7. Yata
    I can't help but feeling while this is doing good things for kids born into potentially awfull conditions, it still feels wrong, addicts will do anything for money sometimes and its taking advantage of their addiction. Also people should always have a right to have kids, its part of our genetic makeup.
  8. Laudaphun
    Yah, an addict who is desperate enough to give up their ability to have children (assuming they are not already sterile or unable to have kids and just taking advantage of the system which I'm sure one would not hesitate at), that is able to muster the strength and courage to kick their habit and lead a productive life will probably end up doing pretty well for themselves and not have any trouble being able to afford a reversal. SWIM's marmoset is a good example. She'd been written off long ago and everyone thought that everything had been done that could be done to "make her better". But once she WANTED to get better for the sake of her dreams (besides the needles full of dreams that she was shooting into her arm)... she amazed even herself at what she could do. At this point, the last thing on earth anyone would have guess would be her demons locked up in the closet... Unfortunately, the key cannot be destroyed by any early means and it is heavy, only by casting it into the fires of mount doom from where it was cast can it be. Since finding companions to travel with SWIM to the summit of mount doom would be highly unlikely, this SWIM must carry this key around with her always. Everyone just thinks it's to her house...

    But hell, a baby... birthcontrol. Her house is far to big for her and she lives alone, and studies biochem and related subjects. The chances of having a person of the opposite sex enter her house who is not related to SWIM are about as good as making it to mount doom. Cops don't count. But even though no laws are broken, and cops would have no reason to enter SWIM's home that is still more likely than having a baby-producing partner walk through the doorway. And SWIM is heterosexual, and even a normal looking human-being.

    BTW, there was a song lyric intermingled in there and a movie plot to make it slightly entertaining... but the point is that if this were to be implemented, it should also be regulated every bit as much as methadone (which in SWIM's opinion is over-regulated), but it pisses SWIM off that shit like this can go on unregulated but a junkie that wants to better themselves has to jump through loops and stand on their head to get Methadone Maintanence Treatment... It's like no one wants them to get clean or reproduce... Some of the luckier people will get off with prescription pain medication and be able to get methadone that way.

    SWIM's marmoset can't speak for other addictions other than opiate addiction, but no matter how addicted one gets, the more you lose and the further you fall, the more you have to get back. And, the more you get back and further you rise above your addiction you then have something to lose. There becomes a point where the more you have to lose, the more you want to stay clean. Not sure if everyone gets that way or not, but at some point, some SWIM might decide they have too much to lose and no matter how nice a shot in the arm might sound, you know have armor and a mighty weapon to fight off those demons if they shoudl escape from the closet. And seeing what effect a baby has on a new father and mother (assuming they are not cracked or smacked or tweaked out), SWIM imagines that armor becomes stronger and weapon mightier. Jeeze, to fall in love... something SWIM can't remember what it even feels like, let alone the touch of that person. And make a baby with that person... The armor would be impervious, and demons would run from the weapon.

    Ok, enough story telling, and that was getting a bit off topic but the point is this is something that needs to be have more to it than merely (proof that one is addicted to drugs) is not really sufficient grounds to sterilize someone. This would be something that would need guildlines, and SWIM would hate to see the government have yet control over yet one more aspect of our lives, but it would need regulated. Cancer for example... regulated cell division is necessary for the human body, however unregulated cell division is how cancer forms. Ok, time for SWIM to stop typing, the holiday cheer just has had an especially powerful mood lifting effect on SWIM. Before opiates SWIM was always the person trying to make everyone else laugh... well, that person gradually disappeared but seems to be gradually finding his way back. You can lose a lot of things in 10 years and it can take a long time to get some of that back... some things you can never get back. To have made a decision like this 10 years ago when SWIM was... well lets say 8 years to be sure she was a total shitbag. SWIM now, at 28 with career opportunies in front of her that no one else in her family could fathom... well lets just say SWIM would be super pissed if that one special person came into her life and she was not able to reproduce because of a decision made in the midst of a heroin binge. Regulation is all this whole post is about.
  9. beentheredonethatagain
    very interesting views on this subject
  10. FuBai
    Does anoyone find it slightly worrying that they are targeting very desperate people, some of whom are willing to prostitute themselves just to get thier next fix, and saying "look here's some money - think of all the smack you could buy with that! All you've got to do is snip, snip, snip."
  11. msmogadon
    If someone wants to pay SWIM to get her tubes tied, she'd do it without hesitation. All birth control SWIM has taken has failed, cause nasty side effects etc. Also she has a sweet and kind 12 year and has all her heart desires.
    Give SWIM the cash LOL:crazy
  12. Rightnow289
    You can chop SWIMs tubes now for £50 :crazy
  13. msmogadon
    Quick tell SWIM to get the scissors :thumbsup:
  14. witchychick
    ooh i find this article very very disturbing and am with fnord on this...
  15. msmogadon
    Sorry - Its SWIM's crass humour
    hope I never caused any nausea LOL

    Sorry Witchy SWIY's not meaning what SWIM said. SWIM agrees also with the wise words of fnord
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