U.S. Charity Pays U.K. Addict to Have Vasectomy

(CBS/AP) An American charity has paid a British man addicted to drugs 200 pounds (about $320) to get a vasectomy, the BBC reportedProject Prevention."

The charity was started by a North Carolina woman who says seeing the affects of drug addiction on children angered her into taking a stand.

Barbara Harris and her organization have already paid more than 3,500 addicts in America to be sterilized, but her foray into Great Britain is causing fresh controversy.

Monday. The man, identified only as "John," was the first U.K. participant in the controversial bribery program offered by "

U.S. Addicts Paid to Get Birth Control

According to the mission statement on their website, "Project Prevention offers cash incentives to women and men addicted to drugs and/or alcohol to use long term or permanent birth control."

The initiative has brought Harris, who started the organization after adopting children born to a woman addicted to crack cocaine, huge criticism -- even comparisons to the Nazi regime.

Other addiction advocacy groups have railed against the extreme nature of Harris' program, accusing her of taking advantage of people with a medically diagnosed illness.

"It exploits very vulnerable people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol at probably the lowest point in their lives," Simon Antrobus, chief executive of Addaction, told the BBC.

"I think Barbara uses some very extreme examples to get her point across. It might work in America but Great Britain is a very different country," said Maria Cripps, who runs a center for addicts in east London.

John, however, said a vasectomy had been on his mind for some time before he accepted the 200 pound bribe from Project Prevention.

"I won't be able to support a kid; I can just about manage to support myself," he told the BBC, adding that he "should never be a father."

John, 38, said he would use the money to help pay his rent and to buy some groceries.

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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