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  1. tripolar
    Drug addiction experts have reacted with horror at the revelation that a controversial American charity worker who pays addicts to be sterilised is setting up a franchise in Britain.

    Project Prevention, which operates out of North Carolina, has stopped more than 3,500 drink and drug addicts from having children by paying them up to £200 to seek long term or permanent forms of contraception such as an IUD implant or full sterilisation. Once the addicts prove that an operation has been carried out they are awarded a cash sum which, even the charity admits, usually goes towards feeding their habits.

    Barbara Harris, the charity's founder, believes encouraging drug addicts to seek sterilisation saves thousands of children from growing up within a damaged environment. She has adopted five children who were born to crack-addicted mothers. But critics say her approach automatically stigmatises all addicts as bad parents.

    That argument has now crossed the Atlantic following the announcement that Mrs Harris has founded a freephone number for UK addicts who will be paid if they get themselves sterilised.

    Andrew Horne, the director of Addaction, one of the UK's largest addiction charities, lambasted the American charity's approach yesterday.

    "There is no place for Project Prevention in the UK because their practices are morally reprehensible and irrelevant," he said. "Our first-hand experience shows that people can make positive changes with the right support – both for themselves and for their children. In fact, many of our clients stopped using drugs because they became a parent."

    Mrs Harris, who is currently in the UK, defended her work and claimed she was already talking to a number of unnamed drug agencies in London.

    "We're going to make this offer to drug addicts, social workers, law enforcement," she said. "Anyone who comes in contact with these women can refer addicts to us now we have an 0800 number here in the UK. We hope the scheme will grow as much here as it did in the US, and that people will support us financially. We need the cash to pay the addicts."

    The Independent
    10 April 2010


  1. missparkles
    Hang on...women? So she's not asking addicted men to get the snip then, just addicted women get sterilised? A fuckin' idiot AND sexist.

  2. Finn Mac Cool
    I'd be interested to know who funds such a woman.
  3. TheBigBadWolf
    AW: Charity that sterilises addicts to come to UK

    unbelievable that this irresponsible woman gets funders for her pre-conceptive euthanasia programme.
  4. Terrapinzflyer

    no- not unless there is some change of policy in the UK. But very few men have chosen the option- after all- its all too easy for them to walk away from any responsibility.

    see Should drug addicts be paid to get sterilised? for a previous news story / discussion on this group in the US

    And please folks- I know this a controversial / emotional subject, but lets keep the discussion on a good, intelligent level here.
  5. Everlasting Reign
    More studies should be done to determine the heritability of severe drug addiction. Absent such studies, I am reluctant to support this plan.

    More sensible would be to sterilize violent criminals, because there is a more clear-cut correlation between heritable traits such as IQ and propensity to commit violent crimes. Also, the public would probably better tolerate the widespread sterilization of criminals than they would the sterilization of 'soft' offenders such as addicts, who have committed only victimless crimes.
  6. missparkles
    I really don't see that cos men can walk away they're any less responsible for any pregnancy, so shouldn't they be targeted as...erm, ferociously as women, for this procedure? This just goes to highlight the inherent unfairness in most drug treatment solutions.

    If a woman who is addicted decides to go into rehab, and she has kids, those children are placed on the at risk register by social services. If a man (a father) goes to rehab, these children are not placed on the at risk register. This inequality is one of the main reasons women access treatment facilities far less than men.

    That's the point I'm trying to make here, ok, not very well.


    I thought I was being respectful?:s
  7. corvardus
    Looking at http://www.projectprevention.org/statistics/

    1,059 have chosen Depo-Provera, 1,251 Tubal Ligation, 858 IUD, 106 Implanon, 38 Norplant, and 47 Vasectomies.

    Would indicate to SWIM that males are also open to the procedure. Remember this is the same press that forced this puppet of a government to ban Mephedrone so don't be surprised if they don't make 100% clear.
  8. corvardus
    Sparkles, IMO, pragmatism has to win here over what could be seen as overzealous equality. The female is the primary target because she is the throne upon which new life is sat.

    SWIM would all be for being able to get pregnant but alas nature has not endowed us with that quality and no level of feminism or incredulity would change that fact.

    And as SWIM has pointed out in a previous post this woman in the US version has actually treated men that have come along, and it is the fault of the press for not asking the question.

    As demonstrated in Law innumerable times over the past decades. The rights of the father where the children are concerned both post-natal and ante-natal are barely an afterthought.

    It is inequality yes, but AGAINST men, not women. A father walks into rehab he is seen as less as a liability because he is not the mother. Mother would protect kids with her life. A mother walks in to rehab the man is seen as an amateurish idiot barely capable of putting on his own underwear, children is high risk because mother is same. WARNING, WARNING.

    See how the same situation can be spun? SWIM truly believes that the rule of law favours my interpretation and social services act accordingly. Especially given the misconception that if the woman is a drug taker they automatically assume the father is as well (having forced the woman to become one) and, therefore, since he is too irresponsible to even come forward for treatment give the children a high risk.
  9. missparkles
    Over zealous equality? Please, you credit me with far more enthusiasm than I actually possess.

    I wasn't aware that this charity were targeting men (as well as women) but the article is slanted that way, so I made that assumption, wrongly. As far as the rehab issue is concerned, it's this inequality that's preventing women from accessing services, so the very thing put in place to protect children, is actually putting them at risk.

    I think your argument (whist having some merit) negates the valuable contribution most fathers make to their kids upbringing. Just recently, a survey conducted said that more men are making the decision to take care of the home and kids, compared to a decade ago. Now spin that whichever way you choose, but inequality is inequality.

    Back to the topic in hand...

    For this woman to make the assumption (regardless of gender) that all addicts are incapable of having and raising children, is offensive. And asking anyone to make this kind of decision, when they're most vulnerable, is wrong. I imagine if an addict is desperate enough they'll do anything for money. I know Sparkles would have done. In her mind rehabilitation isn't an option, once an addict always an addict. Her solution to this problem is too final.

  10. Spucky
    AW: Charity that sterilises addicts to come to UK

    Imo. we can not compare addicted People in the US. with them in Western-Europe,
    afaik.!!! the European Social Net is more tight than in the US.!

    I remember a Article about her a few months ago and i understand her point,
    because for Drug-Addicted Women it's very, very difficult.
    Birth-Control is nearly impossible, Abortion is not legal in some places
    and to do this left behind a lot of a Trauma
    (this lead to Drug Abuse- no Birth Control-Abortion-Trauma)

    So, i understand her point of view, the Problem will be developed if the/ a Government start to copy this Idea,
    that will be Eugenics!
  11. corvardus
    It is a simple observation with the language you are using. If it is incorrect then I apologise.

    Then it needs to change I never said that it didn't. The rationale you have used however implies, heavily, that their being a systematic sexism inherent in child protection against the female, and one that does not exist for the male (The rehab example)

    I would agree with you on their being inherent sexism but the sexism isn't for the woman, it is to the man. If any one of the parents were an (key: uncontrollable) addict then I would place the child as a high risk.

    I tried to demonstrate how it was a symptom of the contempt the law has for the rights of the father that it was the other way around, and that the contribution of the male in the eyes of the law are seen as subservient and has been for some time.

    You, personally, might value and encourage the value of the father in bringing up the child. The law views them as little more than sperm donors. The mother holds all the power, from conception, and often it requires a ruling of court to circumvent the wishes of the woman and that is rare.

    Sexism, I can personally live with since you have to bare the parasite for 9 months but I will call ANY hint of sexism against males in this sort of environment as eloquently as possible, which appears to have failed in this instance.

    Yes, one which the female can entirely subsume should she be obstinate enough to do so. The entire Fathers4Justice movement was to give Fathers a little more fair and equal treatment under family law to give them the right to their children.

    Even the media effectively told them to STFU until they started doing unusual stunts to launch their campaign in the public light then they were taken more seriously (They were seen as a joke) when examined a little deeper.

    With respect, Sparkles, what does that study this to do with child protection in an environment seen as dangerous for their wellbeing? It doesn't. It is purely a social commentary that fathers are having more to do with their young childrens' life at this moment in time. That is all.

    If you look at the statistics, again, though you will find that a number of them are reversible. Seen from that perspective it is a reliable method of contreception offered to an unreliable "client". Entirely voluntary and the type of "sterlisation" is probably under the control of the client as well plus they get paid for it.

    If all else fails this isn't a removal of the ovaries, IVF is an option if all else fails. The sterilsation offered simply stops egg meeting sperm. The sterilisation provided if chosen correctly is entirely reversable.

    Given that having a child is probably not the best time when in the middle of the throes of addiction I agree this is a controversial but no doubt effective technique to prevent childbirth during a time that is not best suited for the child certainly if you don't want it to be addicted to the same substances as the parent.
  12. missparkles
    Apologies Corvardus, I wasn't being provocative or contentious, just trying to point out that the present system is flawed, and this idea (sterilisation of addicts) doesn't make that any better. I believe it sends the message that addicts are somehow too damaged to have kids, and this is just not true. I believe we should be empowering people, not dis-empowering them.

  13. Potter
    Seems like a great idea. Why not reward people who choose not to breed? Sure the woman behind the idea isn't all there, but it's still a great opportunity.
  14. Spucky
    AW: Re: Charity that sterilises addicts to come to UK

    Maybe because this People choose "How do i get my next Pipe"
    instead of "not to breed"? :confused:
  15. corvardus
    I don't think it is that, though, Potter. I believe, if I am getting Sparkles right, it is the fact that it isn't a reward it is an exploitation of an individual at their darkest hour, where they aren't the best in making informed long term choices.

    It would be like giving a kid a Curly Whirly after you just kicked them down the stairs.

    This is a double edged sword for sure and both edges are quite sharp. If one has equally strong emotive reasons for having or denying something then a pragmatic approach would be the simplest to adopt and to me that would be the child's. Not having it in the first place would be the best option until the individual was clean and since these sterilisation techniques are often reversible (this isn't the 50's) I would urge councilling by an impartial third party to aid the individual to make a choice that is right for them.
  16. missparkles
    I couldn't have put it better, it is exploitation. These procedures can be reversed, but in the US, that's gonna take a chunk of change, so how many would be able to afford it? Or does this woman pay for reversing this process too?

  17. Potter
    Actually reversal of the surgical procedeures are rather expensive, I think it's 50 grand to reverse a vasectomy.

    I guess I'm callous, but I don't have an issue with people making such a decision just to feed their habit. There are more then enough children in need of adoption, if a person wanted a baby bad enough. It's not like this procedure prevents them from raising a baby.
  18. corvardus
    $10k for USA (link) and £3k in the UK (link) for vasectomy reversal. I would say that it would cost less than IVF (£5k, link) and people pay for that already, and gladly. I'm uncertain where you got the $/£50k from.
  19. tripolar
    I think the gender difference is a red herring here. I didn't even notice the women only sentence till Sparkles picked it up.

    What is concerning is that at a mere £200 or so, it simply looks like sterilization (or contraception) for poor people. That is what I find hard to digest.

    As to the media responsibility over Mephedrone ban, corvardus, give The Independent some credit. I think they are one of the very few papers that covered the story in an unbiased way.
  20. Potter
    I think my doctor may have said "five figures", it was a few months ago we talked.
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