Friday July 30, 1999


CHICAGO, July 30 (LSN) – California is home to a new controversial sterilization program which is using billboard advertising to encourage drug-addicted women to get their tubes tied or to use long-term birth control. The program – CRACK (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) – offers a $200 incentive.

Critics call the program “short-sighted, racist and a source of drug money for users,” reported the Associated Press last week. The founder of the program, however, appears to be motivated by a desire to reduce the number of children damaged by addicted women. Barbara Harris “calls it a response to a system that often fails to punish women who give birth to drug-addicted babies,” reported AP. “I can’t believe that these women are able to stop by the local hospital yearly, drop off a damaged baby and walk away,” said Ms. Harris, who has adopted four children born with cocaine in their systems.

Ms. Harris’ “solution”, however, is scarcely an improvement on the situation as far as pro- life forces are concerned. The methods of long-term “birth control” which she advocates include the abortifacient intrauterine device (IUD), and Norplant, which critics say poses real health risks to women, as well as the often irreversible sterilization procedures.

Surprisingly to pro-family forces, one of CRACK’s financial supports is the controversial radio talk-show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. (The program is funded by private donations.) Ms. Harris says she has shelled out the $200 to 57 women since 1994. According to AP, the idea is catching on in other U.S. cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Fort Pierce, Fla., and Dallas.

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