A recent press report has disturbing inplications for all concerned with the sanctity of human life.

The report described efforts by health officials in California to pay crack cocaine-addicted women to undergo sterilizations. According to the report, the program is a privately run enterprise involving Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The program is known by the provocative name CRACK (Children Requiring a Caring Community).

Both Planned Parenthood and the civil liberties unionbelieve that cash in exchange for sterilization will allow drug users to avoid life-long problems associated with pregnancy and childrearing.

Some ACLU officials, however, are troubled by the voluntary component of a program offering cash incentives.

The program offers $200 for a tubal ligation, or a five-year contraceptive implant known as Norplant. Male drug users are offered a vasectomy.

The Los Angeles Times newspaper reported that the state’s first CRACK centre in Anaheim has to date raised up to $35,000 for its operations, the majority of that amount coming from out-of-state businessmen who have requested anonymity.

Surprisingly, conservative radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger is reported to have contributed $5,000 toward the effort. She is usually seen as having a more traditional stance.

CRACK founder Barbara Harris summed up the pro-sterilization position as follows: “Which is worse — the fact that women make a decision to use birth control on drugs, or the fact that they are allowed to continue to give birth to drug (-addicted) babies?”