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Nonprofit pays drug addicts to not have children

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(Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)

CONCORD, N.C.NBC Charlotte has uncovered a controversial push to keep drug addicts from having children. 

Barbara Harris' nonprofit, "Project Prevention," has paid thousands of addicts cash incentives to be sterilized or placed on long term implanted birth control.

While some say paying addicts to give up their fertility is preventing drug-addicted babies, others believe it is immorally sterilizing disenfranchised women who are not of legally sound mind. 

On a busy stretch of Roberta road in Concord, N.C. you might see a blown-up photo of a pregnant woman shooting heroin that reads: "Get birth control, get cash."

"It's staggering to see driving down the road a pregnant woman shooting up," Barbara Harris said. "It gets people thinking it gets people talking which is a good thing."

Harris is the woman behind it all and her nonprofit, Project Prevention, offers drug addicts and alcoholics $300 to stop having children.

Project Prevention doesn't perform the procedure, it just pays addicts to get it done through a doctor.

They get $300 outright to be sterilized, and staggered payments if they choose implanted birth control.

Harris said project prevention has paid around 8,000 women over 20 years.

"All of the women who have chosen to be sterilized had 3 to 13 children first," Harris said. "Every woman that's come through our organization has had 2 to 15 abortions."

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