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Addicts cash in on birth control program - They're paid to be sterilized or use long-term medication
The Dallas Morning News ^ | July 29, 2002 | By KARINA BLAND / The Arizona Republic

Posted on 07/29/2002 6:39:35 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP


Addicts cash in on birth control program

They are paid to be sterilized or use long-term medication

07/29/2002

By KARINA BLAND / The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX - Sabrina Yanez, a teenage mother and former methamphetamine user, got paid $200 for being fitted with an IUD at a Yuma, Ariz., clinic.

The check came from Barbara Harris, founder of CRACK, or Children Requiring A Caring Kommunity, a nonprofit group that gives cash to addicts who agree to be sterilized or use long-term birth control.

Ms. Harris, who has adopted four children born to a Los Angeles crack addict, doesn't want more babies born to addicts.

Now in its fourth year, CRACK has paid 686 addicts, including 15 men, in 22 cities nationwide. That includes seven women and one man in Arizona.

The program is controversial. Those who work with addicts say these men and women are desperate and incapable of making an important decision. They say the money feeds drug habits.

"They may use the money for drugs, but that's their choice," said Ms. Harris, who lives in California. "The babies don't have that choice."

*

Ms. Yanez, 18, who says she is clean, is a high school student again. She spent the $200 on things for her 1-year-old son, Joseph: summer clothes, shoes and a float for the pool. She's sure she doesn't want more babies right now.

About 80 percent of the 33,000 neglect and abuse cases investigated annually by Arizona Child Protective Services involve drugs, said Flora Sotomayor, program administrator.

Children of addicts are often neglected. Some are abused by parents, some by the company their parents keep. Women often turn to prostitution to pay for their habits.

Dr. Eugenie Anderson delivered the baby of a cocaine addict in Phoenix. There was a blood clot in the baby's leg. The leg, white and cold, had to be amputated.

Sometimes the babies die. And sometimes, Dr. Anderson said, that's for the best.

Dr. Anderson read about CRACK in a newsmagazine and offered to help. The article was critical of Ms. Harris for targeting minorities.

Dr. Anderson is black.

"Drugs and poverty target certain minority groups, so that's where you find the problem," she said.

The other side

But some worry that drug-dependent men and women are in no shape to consent to sterilization, especially when enticed by cash.

That $200 may influence them to make choices they might not otherwise make, says Becka Perry, program manager at Amity Inc., a Tucson rehabilitation center where mothers can live with their children while they get off drugs.

There are other ways, such as education and treatment, to prevent women from having drug-addicted babies, she said.

Ms. Harris and her husband became foster parents for the first time in 1989 to a baby girl born to a Los Angeles woman addicted to crack cocaine. She was the woman's fifth child.

Every year for the next three years, the Harrises got a call from social workers asking them to take the woman's sixth, seventh and eighth child.

One boy suffered the worst of his mother's addiction, sleeping only a few minutes at a time and waking screaming.

In 1997, a tired Ms. Harris plastered the impoverished MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles with fliers offering money to addicts who would voluntarily be sterilized or use long-term contraception.

CRACK started with $400 from an attorney who handled child abuse cases. In 2001, the group collected almost $300,000, mostly from conservative donors.

Ms. Harris has stacks of letters on her desk from grateful women, many of whom sell sex for money to buy drugs.

"You have to understand that these women don't want to have babies taken away from them every year," Ms. Harris said.

One day recently, applications came in from Detroit, Minnesota, Florida and from Ms. Yanez, the 18-year-old from Yuma.

"I love it when we get them young. When we get them at 40, the damage has already been done," Ms. Harris said.

One woman had had 14 children by the time she was sterilized. Younger women often choose birth control that is not permanent, Ms. Harris said.

Because the addicts often are poor, programs such as Medicaid pay for most procedures. To be paid, they must have a doctor certify that the services were done.

Ms. Harris said the people making this decision need to be thoughtful. To get their tubes tied, for example, women must visit a doctor, fill out paperwork and wait 30 days for surgery.

'Responsible decisions'

"If they were zombies, they couldn't do that," Ms. Harris said. "These women are making responsible decisions, whatever their motivation."

Dr. Anderson said she would not perform a procedure on someone who was impaired. Women who show up stoned or drunk are turned down.

Ms. Yanez was 16 when she got pregnant. She used methamphetamine, just for fun.

"It was never like I needed it," she said. "I could go without it."

Ms. Yanez hasn't touched it since she found out she was pregnant. She moved to Yuma from California to start a new life with her little boy, just the two of them.

"Honestly, since the pregnancy with my son, I quit," Ms. Yanez said. "It had everything to do with it. Just the idea of him being on his way into this world, it changed everything."

She saw a flier for Ms. Harris' CRACK program in her doctor's office. She was fitted with an IUD on April 1 and received a check for $200 two weeks later, just in time for her son's first birthday.

Distributed by Associated Press


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/tsw/stories/072902dntexazcontrol.8674f.html


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: drugaddicts; freebirthcontrol; sheesh; taxbuckswasted

AP
Children Requiring A Caring Kommunity
(CRACK) paid $200 to Sabrina Yanez, 18, for
being fitted with an IUD. The nonprofit,
which doesn't want addicts to have babies,
has its critics: Some say participants will
use the money to buy drugs.


1 posted on 07/29/2002 6:39:35 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
Coupled with the recent Supreme Court decision that those with an IQ under 65 are not responsible for their actions, it would seem that "eugenics as public policy" is making a sharp comeback.
2 posted on 07/29/2002 6:44:30 AM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: MeeknMing
Because the addicts often are poor, programs such as Medicaid pay for most procedures. To be paid, they must have a doctor certify that the services were done.

I really have no problem with someone donating money to get these people to use birth control, but I found it amusing that, as Medicaid participants, these people "could have" done this on their own, but waited to be paid..........

3 posted on 07/29/2002 6:52:33 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: JohnGalt
"..it would seem that "eugenics as public policy" is making a sharp comeback."

One can only hope. Not big on government social programs, but I'd be happy to my tax dollars spent on something like this. Little investment now could prevent *huge* costs in the future.

When I look at images of prison populations I see abortions that should have happened 18-20+ years ago.

4 posted on 07/29/2002 7:08:51 AM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: MeeknMing
The program is controversial. Those who work with addicts say these men and women are desperate and incapable of making an important decision.

If that is the case, they are also incapable of raising children.

So the addicts make one good decision. Where's the controversy?

5 posted on 07/29/2002 7:15:18 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: fourdeuce82d
That is the same argument Nazi social planners in 1936 made for euphanizing the terminally ill, handicapped, and then chronic alcoholics and homosexuals. The policy was justified as a 'cost saver,' but it has been argued, the policy served to prepare the populace to accept, morally speaking, 'later steps.'
6 posted on 07/29/2002 7:16:33 AM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: MeeknMing
But some worry that drug-dependent men and women are in no shape to consent to sterilization, especially when enticed by cash.

Anyone want to bet these same complainers would have no problem if CRACK was offering money to have an abortion?

7 posted on 07/29/2002 7:19:03 AM PDT by maximus@Nashville
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To: JohnGalt
That is the same argument Nazi social planners in 1936 made for euphanizing the terminally ill, handicapped, and then chronic alcoholics and homosexuals

It's also the same argument we used for our own domestic eugenics program, and it was a good one.

I don't want the government to force people to sterilize themselves. I have no problem if the gov., using my tax dollars, wants to bribe them to do so.

8 posted on 07/29/2002 7:25:22 AM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: JohnGalt
That is the same argument Nazi social planners in 1936 made for euphanizing the terminally ill, handicapped, and then chronic alcoholics and homosexuals.

You might have a point, if anyone were being euthanized, or even being forcibly sterilized. But since they're not...

9 posted on 07/29/2002 7:27:30 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: hellinahandcart
I was not suggesting they were, so please don't take my post out of context. 'Eugenics as public policy' is making a comeback. I was suggesting that the moral logic that socialists are twisting to entice "conservatives" is famliar to the tactics used in Nazi Germany eugenic policies.
10 posted on 07/29/2002 7:32:48 AM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: fourdeuce82d
I believe the $200 "bribe" is paid from private donations (CRACK is a non-profit). I would object to tax money being used for that purpose.
11 posted on 07/29/2002 7:33:55 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: fourdeuce82d
Is that a business the government should be in? Socialists use the law and order bit to twist the moral logic of Conservatives to the point that is ceases to have any moral implication, strictly a rational one. Your opinion might be 'rational' but without a moral context then I suggest that the logical path you are on leads to a moral abyss just as the eugenics policy pushed by Nazi sympathizer Margaret Sanger in the 20s and 30s predated a society that could tolerate an industry as abhorrent as the pregnancy termination racket.
12 posted on 07/29/2002 7:37:02 AM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: JohnGalt
We're getting our wires crossed then. I don't see this as eugenics. Or "public policy", for that matter.
13 posted on 07/29/2002 7:37:28 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: MeeknMing
The program is controversial. Those who work with addicts say these men and women are desperate and incapable of making an important decision. They say the money feeds drug habits.

Those who work with addicts want to ensure a next generation of addicts to justify the social workers continued employment. Follow the money. Finding homes for crack babies is also probably in their job description

Social workers have a vested interest in the problem getting bigger, not smaller

I'd also like to see this program offered to welfare mothers. $1000 to get sterilized, but ONLY if you do it before your second baby. I'd contribute to it.

14 posted on 07/29/2002 7:38:08 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: MeeknMing
"One boy suffered the worst of his mother's addiction, sleeping only a few minutes at a time and waking screaming."

Horrific. Both for the kid and for those who have to deal with that for the next 20 years. Odd how by that time he'll probably be one of those "super" criminals the Professor who came up with the "broken windows" theory writes about.

Oh.....WHERE'S THE DAD?????

15 posted on 07/29/2002 7:42:48 AM PDT by KantianBurke
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To: hellinahandcart
Would you tolerate a clinic that pays drug addicts to be sterilized or have IUDs inserted in your hometown, or just an abstract city is some far off place?
16 posted on 07/29/2002 7:45:25 AM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: SauronOfMordor
Finding homes for crack babies is also probably in their job description

Shouldn't be too hard to find homes. Start with a list of the people who object to the program.

17 posted on 07/29/2002 7:51:22 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: JohnGalt
I have a problem with IUDs because they do not prevent conception, but I have a feeling that's not what you meant.

In any case, it's not the clinics who are paying the addicts to be sterilized. It's a private organization. The addicts are not being forced into sterilization ($200 isn't even near "an offer you can't refuse") and I am not being forced to to subsidize the "reward" money. What's not to tolerate?

(Before you say "Medicaid", let me say that my tax dollars would also pay for the addicts' childbirths should they not opt for sterilization.)

18 posted on 07/29/2002 8:01:07 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: MeeknMing
I think this program is very much needed. For what it costs for a 10-year IUD (about $300) vs. the economic and social costs of unintended pregnancies of addicts, it's probably the most responsible thing that can be done. Because this is on a private level, the fear of it becoming a mass eugenics program (i.e. if the gub'ment was involved making those decisions) is nil. I worked in the projects many years ago and would see 4 little kids to one crack-addicted mom constantly. It seemed so hopeless and pathetic.
19 posted on 07/29/2002 8:39:21 AM PDT by Dasaji
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To: JohnGalt
What is the point of steralizing a homosexual???
20 posted on 07/29/2002 11:04:09 AM PDT by ContentiousObjector
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To: hellinahandcart
I believe the $200 "bribe" is paid from private donations (CRACK is a non-profit). I would object to tax money being used for that purpose

That's certainly your right, but I'm curious as to why you would- I'm not a big fan of government social programs, aside from a couple of videos regarding the virtues of libertarianism that should be required viewing for a secondary diploma (ooops...dammit, where are my meds...") but I would like a government, for the next couple of years, that manifests contempt, hostility, and assistance toward self-destructive/non-reproductive behavior of the more useless among us.

Here's an example: I would like very much for the president of this country to say, on national television, that he is going to pressure congress to lift the fed requirement for seatbelt laws, and for infant car seats. I don't really want to see metrics tons of baby meat blasting through windshields, but I would love to see the look on the lefties, particulalry parents who fugged up and killed their own kids:

"WAHHH, WAAAHHH...I didn't know....WAAHHH, WAHHH, I forgot, I didn't mean to..."

"That's fine- no harm, no foul. You're an idiot, so your spawn was probably an idiot too. Feel guilty, then commit suicide- two for the price of one."

Brutal, brutal brutal- but what an eye-opener for the whining herd of they who cannot wipe their own bottoms- we don't care about you, we don't like you, we hope you die.

21 posted on 07/29/2002 4:23:53 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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