BBC Documentary on Sterilisation Programme in the UK
|She's back! But then, did she ever go away?|
The BBC reports that...
'A BBC Inside Out special follows a highly controversial American charity that wants to pay drug addicts cash to be sterilised. Drug addicts across the UK are being offered money to be sterilised by an American charity.
Project Prevention is offering to pay £200 to any drug user in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leicester and parts of Wales who agrees to be operated on. The first person in the UK to accept the cash is drug addict "John" from Leicester who says he "should never be a father". The move has been criticised by some drug charities who work with addicts.
Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris admitted her methods amounted to "bribery", but said it was the only way to stop babies being physically and mentally damaged by drugs during pregnancy. Drug treatment charity Addaction estimates one million children in the UK are living with parents who abuse drugs.
Pregnant addicts can pass on the dependency to the unborn child, leading to organ and brain damage. Mrs Harris set up her charity in North Carolina after adopting the children of a crack addict.
Speaking to the BBC's Inside Out programme, she said: "The birth mother of my children obviously dabbled in all drugs and alcohol - she literally had a baby every year for eight years. "I get very angry about the damage that drugs do to these children."
After paying 3,500 addicts across the United States not to have children, she is now visiting parts of the UK blighted by drugs to encourage users to undergo "long-term birth control" for cash.
John, a 38-year-old addict from Leicester, is the first person in the UK to accept money to have a vasectomy after being involved in drugs since he was 12. It might work in America but Great Britain is a very different country” He said: "It was something that I'd been thinking about for a long time. "I won't be able to support a kid; I can just about manage to support myself."
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of Addaction, said while no-one wanted to see children brought up in a drug-using environment, there was no place for Project Prevention in the UK. "It exploits very vulnerable people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol at probably the lowest point in their lives," he said.
The Reverend Robert Black, of Victory Outreach, which works with former addicts in east London, said he thought Project Prevention's aims were "very devious". Maria Cripps, project manager at the Hackney Dovetail Centre which works with drug users and their carers, said: "I think Barbara uses some very extreme examples to get her point across. It might work in America but Great Britain is a very different country."
But Reverend Martin Blakebrough, director of Camden's Kaleidoscope Project in north London, said sterilisation was "worth considering" if it was right for the individual. A spokesperson at the British Medical Association said: "The BMA's ethics committee does not have a view on the charity Project Prevention. As with all requests for treatment, doctors need to be confident that the individual has the capacity to make the specific decision at the time the decision is required. The BMA's ethics committee also believes that doctors should inform patients of the benefits of reversible contraception so that the patients have more reproductive choices in the future."
Sterilising The Addicts is on Inside Out London, East Midlands, West, and Wales on 18 October on BBC One at 1930 BST and in Scotland as BBC Scotland Investigates:
What is heartening is the comments on the BBC 'debate' with the large majority of people condemning this 'charity' outright. Here are some that I like:
'What a government .. from 1984 to 1933 in 6 months.'
'Its a poor man's Eugenics. Sick thinking by any standard. The group should be prosecuted.'
'As a child of two former drug addicts I am disgusted by this 'charity' and the posts here supporting this scheme. Myself, brothers and sister are all productive members of society. I have never been in trouble with the police and I have no addiction issues. I am happily married and I have worked and paid taxes for almost twenty years serving this country, are you saying I shouldn't have existed? This is nothing short of eugenics, if we support this, where do you propose we draw the line? This isn't a stance from a moral high ground, this is my life you are debating here.'
'Does it include tobacco and alcohol addicts?'
'End your bloodline for £200 [Or a 2-day drug binge].'
'It's scandalous. What kind of Charity would hand money to a drug addict, KNOWING what it will be spent on? '
Of course, in a country in which abortion rates are still shockingly high, the United Kingdom is yet to truly throw off the yoke of industrial scale killing of the unwanted and inconvenient. I, for one, however, am thrilled that the hearts of our brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom have not grown so cold as to go along with this wicked plan. We fought a war against Hitler, we fought against this kind of insidious evil and Pope Benedict XVI commended us for it while he was here. Just as a thought, what do you think Richard Dawkins and Professor Steve Jones would make of this idea? I mean, they're the ones who are always worrying about the quality of the 'gene pool'. It strikes me that ideas such as this one espoused by the woman who's promoting it in the UK are the result of atheism's default position. In the absence of any belief in Redemption, this can appear wholly logical.