Supervised drug injection facilities, or “safe injection” sites, offer clean venues for the supervised intravenous abuse of illegal substances, reducing the sharing of needles and offering intervention for overdoses. These sites are intended to reduce HIV and hepatitis transmission, but do not necessarily stop addiction.

•Such facilities are advocated by proponents of “harm reduction,” which is defined as a public health philosophy (notably, not a moral principle) that seeks to be “realistic” and “pragmatic” about destructive behaviours. Whereas “harm reduction” has been presented as amoral, the philosophy has strong links to secular humanism and the culture of death – and especially to population control measures. Exceeding Margaret Sanger’s goal of indirectly eliminating “human weeds,” “harm reduction” can be seen as a means to enable some humans to exterminate themselves.

• In recent decades, programs like InSite have been touted as cutting-edge. But the United Kingdom’s Christian Institute documents an early attempt at “harm reduction” and its successful resistance — around the time of Confederation in our own country.

In some parts of the U.K. during the early 19th century, girls as young as 12 were being sold into prostitution, and one-fifth of British soldiers were hospitalized with sexually transmitted diseases. The government attempted to enforce “the hygienic control of prostitutes” with the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act to regulate prostitution. Women suspected of selling sexual services could be forcibly examined and treated. As a result, not only did the public begin to tolerate prostitution, but innocent women were medically harassed; the laws were applied only to women.

Christian abolitionist and suffragette, Josephine Butler, who was involved in rescuing child prostitutes from the street, co-ordinated public meetings and prayer to counteract these problems. Mobs tried to break up her meetings, but she persevered in her campaign. As a result, the age of consent for sexual intercourse was raised from 13 to 16, and in 1883, the Contagious Diseases Act was suspended.

The Christian Institute notes that “public disapproval of anti-social activities is a very strong restraining influence on most people. Christians must work hard to promote this public opinion and say ‘no’ to harm reduction.”