CRACK for birth control
After adopting several children of a drug addicted mother, Barbara Harris devised a radical programme to reduce the number of drug affected pregnancies. Vittal Katikireddi investigates
I wish you had come to me with your birth control offer years ago so I wouldn't have had 14 babies," Sharon says. She has experienced a new approach to dealing with children of drug addicts that is sweeping across the United States--prevent their birth.
The programme, known as Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity (CRACK), aims to “offer preventive measures to reduce the tragedy of numerous drug affected pregnancies” by paying drug and alcohol addicts--both men and women--to use birth control or be sterilised, in the hope of preventing them from reproducing. The organisation, which now has 23 branches across the United States, believes that not only are developmental and health problems prevented, but also the difficulties of raising a child in the environment of drug misuse is avoided. Studies suggest that babies born to mothers who use cocaine are at an increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation, congenital abnormalities