An American charity that pays drug addicts to go on long-term birth control or undergo a tubal ligation or vasectomy has just completed work with its first client in Britain, marking the start of the group's international expansion.
Known as Project Prevention, the 38-year old heroin addict known as "John" was said to have received £200 for completing the procedure which will prevent him from having children.
The charity's controversial founder Barbara Harris spoke with TIME magazine last April, shortly after she began searching for addicts in Britain. She explained that her charity discourages unfit parents from giving birth—thereby reducing the number of children born addicted to crack and easing the burden on social services:
"Even if their babies are fortunate enough not to have mental or physical disabilities, they're placed in the foster-care system and moved from home to home," she said. "What makes a woman's right to procreate more important than the right of a child to have a normal life?"
Harris has adopted four children born to one crack-addicted woman in Los Angeles. However, a number of addict rights groups and drug charities have compared Harris' project to Nazi-era social engineering, and describes the Project Prevention scheme as "exploitative, ethically dubious and morally questionable."