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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Project Prevention brings birth-control drive to Isles

Advertiser Staff

A national organization that pays drug addicts and alcoholics $300 to get sterilized or to use long-term birth control is in Honolulu for the first time.

Project Prevention is engaged in an ongoing effort to eradicate substance-exposed births. The group has been in Hawai'i before, in 2008 on Maui.

Executive Director Barbara Harris started the group in 1997. Since then, it has paid more than 3,000 clients, including only 29 men. Along the way, the effort has sparked controversy about constitutional rights and racism.

Harris says women who are drug addicts or alcoholic "have baby after baby after baby, and nothing positive comes of it." She says Project Prevention targets behavior, not race.

The group is operating on O'ahu for three days, ending tomorrow.