It's simple. In Tucson Arizona, if you can't put down the crack pipe or keep your libido in check, they'll pay $300 dollars to stop you from making drug addicted babies.

A program which started in 1997 is paying cash to alcoholics and addicts who implement long term birth control options. For women, those options include contraceptive injections, intrauterine devices, or tubal ligation. For men, the option is vasectomy.

The goal of the program is to help reduce the number of newborn babies who come into this world with drug addictions or which have been dangerously exposed to alcohol or drugs while in the womb. It is estimated that approximately 320,000 health compromised babies are born each year in the United States, after being extensively exposed to alcohol or other illicit drugs.


AZCentral.com reports that the program, which was founded by Harrisburg, N.C. resident Barbara Harris in 1997, has paid as many as 2,800 participants thus far. In addressing the propriety of such payments and procedures, Harris stated: Those who oppose what we're doing should be willing to step up and adopt a few of the babies..."

It's an admirable effort, and could serve as pattern for a similar program nation wide. The $300 payments are made after verification of a potential participant's substance abuse problem, and after the indicated procedures have been completed. Similar programs could also serve as a gateway to other substance abuse reduction efforts.

Perhaps some addicts will always be addicts. Perhaps some people can't keep their pants on. In those cases, there is at least one program which is effectively battling the realities, by preventing a new generation from paying for the indiscretions of their parents. We might all do well by actively supporting similar preventive programs in our own communities.

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