New program helps women addicted to crack

Sharon Adams has given birth to 14 children. All have different fathers, one is in prison for dealing drugs, another is dead and eight were born addicted to crack cocaine. All but two of Adams children went straight into foster care. In a country where drugs are a major problem, Adams story is not that unusual. There are thousands of babies born addicted to drugs every day. These children, suffering horrific drug withdrawal symptoms, are most often immediately removed from their mothers and placed in foster care. However, there is now a solution for women who are addicted to drugs. A new program called Children Requiring A Caring Kommunity (CRACK) offers drug users $200 to get a hysterectomy. Thats right, these crack heads are given $200 to get a surgery that prevents them from having children–ever. Is this a solution? Barbara Harris, the founder of CRACK, says yes. Her argument is that these women are not rational enough to make a decision to bring a human being into this world. She says that a baby has a right not to be force-fed drugs. Harris explains that this is not about the women, but the babies. She claims that these women are not having kids out of love or because they are responsible and want to raise them, they are having kids because they are irresponsible with their lifestyle and it happens. She argues that these unwanted, drug addicted babies should not be brought into this world. Many drug users agree. Adams calls Harris her guardian angel. She was sterilized after her fourteenth child and is now a poster girl for CRACK, supporting Harris work. She has been clean for a year and is doing her best to help other women. There are others who agree with Harris solution. She has appeared on radio programs, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and other television programs spreading her message. Donations have been flowing in and even doctors have begun referring women to Harris. However, if these crack addicted women are not rational enough to make a decision about bringing a child into this world, how are they rational enough to decide on sterilization? Crack heads will do a lot of things for $200. Many believe that Harris solution only creates more problems. She has been accused of playing God and has been compared to Hitler. She has decided that a sector of society is not entitled to a basic human right–reproduction. Instead of trying to help these women who are on drugs she gives them $200 and prevents them from ever having children. What happens if and when these women become clean and decide to have a family? They must live forever with the repercussions of a drug-influenced decision. Does Harris solution help solve a problem or only create new ones? On one hand, these poor children do not have a choice as to using drugs. These mothers have made their choice for them and should not have the right to bring them up in this environment. However, are drug users being taken advantage of in a time of weakness? They may have problems right now but eventually they can straighten out their lives and become wonderful mothers. Is CRACK the answer? I dont know.

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