Project Prevention Founder Barbara Harris Pays Addicts to Get Sterilized

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Drug and alcohol addicts, despite their lifestyle, have another incentive not to have kids: $300. Project Prevention, an American charity organization, pays addicts $300 to get sterilized in exchange for cash and has just recently expanded its reach to Great Britain.

Barbara Harris, the founder and head of Project Prevention, has been the target of intense criticism since convincing her first and (so far) only British recipient to take £200, the equivalent of roughly $314, in exchange for getting a vasectomy.

The British man who had the procedure said the money was a strong incentive, according to the BBC.

“It was something that I’d been thinking about for a long time, and something I wanted to do. I just hadn’t gotten around to it,” he said.

Harris has paid 3,600 American addicts so far to get sterilized or undergo a long-term birth control procedure and has plans to keep expanding.

“I got very angry about the damage that these drugs do to these children,” Harris said in an interview with BBC, shrugging off her critics’ concerns about the program. “Typically, I just say one thing to my critics: If you truly believe that these women still have a right to continue to have children, then step up, get in line and adopt the next one born.”

Other drug-related organizations, such as One25, which is a drug rehabilitation home for women and children, have spoken out against Harris.

“It's exploiting people,” said Gill Nowland, the chief executive One25. “The women we work with, due to the drug addictions, are not in sound minds to make such life-changing decisions.”

Harris, who has adopted four children from a drug-addicted parent, argues the program does not force people into sterilization, and that everyone who has had the procedure have children already.

“I really don't understand controversy or people who oppose what we do,” Harris said. “I think a lot of people should realize they're never going to be good parents, and never have children.”