Project Prevention

Project Prevention just announced its “2006 In ’06” campaign. Project Prevention was formerly known as CRACK (Children Requiring A Caring Kommunity). Their goal for 2006 is to pay 2006 addicts to get sterilized or get some form of long term birth control. According to their website, they have a chapter in Detroit.

The group’s founder, Barbara Harris, is reported to have said:

We don’t allow dogs to breed. We spay them. We neuter them. We try to keep them from having unwanted puppies, and yet these women are literally having litters of children …

She’s also quoted as saying the following:

My mind has changed as far as the women go. When I first started the program I was just so angry with these women. I thought they were scum. But during these years I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of these women, and eventually realized that my anger is more toward society. If the government had common sense, they would spend more money on drug treatment—then they’d be spending less on caring for these babies. People tell me I should be spending my money on treatment programs and I tell them for every [addicted child] I can prevent from being conceived, there’s four million dollars that can be used for drug treatment.

I’m all for preventing drug affected pregnancies. However, we know that the biggest barriers to a meaningful community response are stigma and hopelessness. It seems clear to me that this group’s reductionist message – that addicted women are irresponsible, unloving baby machines – only makes the problem worse.