Barbara Harris founded a nonprofit organization which pays drug addicts $200 to get long-term birth control or to get sterilized. Harris' plan was dazzling in its simplicity: Drug addicts care about drugs, not babies, and they respond to money, not motivational moral-speak. Why not pay them to stop having drug-addicted babies they can neither support nor nurture? .
It sounds cruel and cold-hearted, but it sounds a lot nicer than the screams of a cocaine-addicted baby thrashing against restraints in an intensive care nursery crib. Harris is familiar with those sounds. She adopted four of eight babies born to one crack-addicted mother. All are thriving, thanks to their stable, nurturing environment, but they're among the lucky few. .
Having nursed her four kids through scream-filled nights and the jitters of drug withdrawal, Harris was tormented by the fates of all the other drug-addicted babies. In 1997 she founded CRACK, Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity. It has received a lot of praise and well as criticism. The program is a great idea, and one that should be welcomed with open arms throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
This program requires drug addicts to have their tubes tied or to get long-term birth control. â€œSo far 61 women followed her program and had acknowledged to experiencing a total of 446 pregnancies, of which 169 were aborted. Twenty-three of their children were stillborn, 22 died later, and 185were placed in foster careâ€ (Hornblower p.442). This is just a small portion of women that chose to come to CRACK and disclose this information, think of how many more births led to this throughout the years.
Critics of CRACK like Planned Parenthood and the America Civil Liberties Union say, â€œthe tactics coerce poor women whose judgment is clouded by drugs into doing something they may later regretâ€ (Belluck p.1). These people should pay a little more attention to detail because the program offers a choice pf either sterilization, or long-term birth control such as Norplant, an epidermal patch that prevents pregnancy for up to five years.