There has been much debate over programs that strive to prevent certain types of drug addicts from bringing children into the world. Sterilization programs have been established in all 50 states, and they regularly help addicts make the choice to not have children. However, these programs are often controversial and widely disputed.
Those who operate sterilization programs want to help individuals suffering with drug and alcohol addiction to make wise choices and avoid bringing a child into the world. Many addicts have a difficult time supporting their child, caring for the child properly, and keeping the child safe in the midst of their own turmoil.
Substance abuse is a contributing factor in the majority of cases of child abuse or neglect. These children of addicts are not being cared for properly, and are subsequently being taken from the home and added to the foster care system. Other babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or addicted to drugs because of the habits of the pregnant mother. By helping parents avoid having children until they are sober and ready to properly care for a child, these programs are working to prevent the suffering of innocent children.
Opposed to the Programs
However, not everyone agrees with the process of sterilization for addicts. They criticize groups for tricking or bribing addicts into going through sterilization, which is usually done in exchange for money or incentives. Those opposed to sterilization programs argue that taking away someone's ability to have a child is too drastic of a measure. They promote educational programs for the addict to learn how to care for a child, and treatment programs to help the addict get sober.
Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies
There are different ways to help individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and are at risk for pregnancy. First of all, these people need help for their addiction, and they need to be connected to a facility that can provide them with resources to get sober.
It is also important to think of the innocent child that may be brought into the situation. There are non-permanent, but long lasting birth control methods that would help women in these situations from getting pregnant. However, for individuals with a long history of addiction who have repeatedly relapsed and who have had children taken away already, encouraging them to make the decision to be sterilized would prevent more children from being brought into a difficult situation.