Project Prevention: Mothers and Children Speak Out

Project Prevention, originally known as C.R.A.C.K. (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) is often described as a program that offers $300 for current and former drug users to get sterilized or to use certain long-acting birth control methods. It was founded by Barbara Harris.

While some people laud this program, others have also challenged it as a violation of informed consent, exploitative, coercive, racist and a form of eugenic population control. A few have addressed the question of whether the program creates a valid contract under standard contract law principles. Still others have argued that at its core, this program invites people to sell their reproductive capacity, and that like the sale of organs, sex, and children, selling the ability to reproduce should be outlawed as a matter of public policy.

Pregnancy Justice's response to Project Prevention focuses more broadly on the question of whether or not people concerned with the problems Project Prevention purports to address --including drug use, pregnancy, child welfare, and public health -- should support it. Pregnancy Justice's examination of what Project Prevention says and what it does, the data it relies on, the rhetoric it uses, and the influence it is having, makes clear that, far from providing a useful response to problems associated with drug use and pregnancy, Project Prevention instead acts as a dangerous vector for medical misinformation and political propaganda that has significant implications for the rights of all Americans.

Pregnancy Justice believes that Project Prevention promotes a vision of pregnant women with health problems as "child abusers," portrays healthy children as damaged, and dangerously fosters stereotypes, prejudice, and medical misinformation. In this video a group of mothers and children respond to some of the issues raised by Project Prevention. As this video reveals and as this article explains (, Project Prevention undermines, rather than promotes, the welfare of children and caring communities.