A stranger in Memphis offered Larry Scott $200 yesterday to have a vasectomy. Scott, who said he’s an alcoholic and crack addict, was walking down the street when Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris handed him a flier, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The North Carolina woman is driving through the Southeast offering cash to addicts and alcoholics who agree to use long-term or permanent birth control. “It makes sense,” said Scott, 43, “I don’t want to pass this on to a baby. I don’t want to hurt somebody else just because I’m hurt.” Harris said Project Prevention has paid 1,200 addicts to stop having babies since 1997. Almost 500 have done so permanently, with 473 women undergoing tubal ligation and 26 men getting vasectomies. About 700 have opted for birth control, including Depo-Provera, Norplant or the Intra-Uterine device.
Harris, 51, and her son Stephen Francis, 32, cruised around Memphis, slapping stickers and posters on light poles that read: “Get birth control and get $200 cash.”
Harris started Project Prevention after she fostered four babies of a crack-addicted mother while living in California. She adopted the children, now ages 10, 12, 13 and 14. Some critics say the $1 million in donations she has received would be better used for drug treatment.