Have you heard of the non-profit organization, Project Prevention? Led by founder Barbara Harris, Project Prevention helps addicts and alcoholics get on long term or permanent birth control. Why? So they don’t conceive children.
Here is the deal she does with them. Project Prevention offers addicts a $300 incentive to get on birth control. They don’t get the birth control directly from Harris; they get it from a health clinic first, send her the paperwork, and after that, she sends them the $300.
Starting with being born with chemical dependencies because the mother was an addict, Harris knows first-hand the challenges of babies born to addicted mothers/fathers. She adopted four babies from addicted mothers herself.
The Many Costs of Unfit Parents
In The Baby Matrix, I talk about the prices children pay for being born to people who are not ready to become parents. Abuse, neglect, or abandonment by unfit parents result in many kids living in foster care, and leading rough lives. Whether it be costs associated with foster care, or child abuse and neglect, society as a whole pays heavy prices for subscribing to the pronatalist idea that it is everyone’s right to have children, regardless of whether people are emotionally, financially, or psychologically ready to have them. This unquestioned pronatalist right harms too many children, the parents themselves, and society.
I also discuss how parent (s) who show severe levels of parental unfitness, such as recurring child alimony non-payment; physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; parental substance abuse; neglect; abandonment or homicide, should temporarily lose their right to reproduce. Even in a democratic society like ours, rights are taken away when people harm others. We do this in our legal and prison system. The same should happen for unfit parents. There must be ways to prevent unfit parents from continuing to harm children and society, financially and socially.
Harris’ work serves as a way to reduce the harm to the well-being of potential children. They deserve parents who are best suited to raise them, and society has a duty to its children to ensure this happens. Unfortunately, our pronatalist society does not do this well at all. In many ways, our pronatalist, pro-baby society promotes the opposite – irresponsible reproduction.
Harris’ work exemplifies that she gets the costs of irresponsible reproduction. She promotes responsible reproductive decision making to those who at least currently, have no business becoming parents. Her work may be seen as controversial, but to me it’s not. Whether Harris knows it or not, she is doing her part to help move us to a post-pronatal society – one that sees parenthood as a privileged right.
For this, Barbara Harris and Project Prevention, I thank you.