Llanelli charity Kaleidoscope ‘may pay addicts not to have children’
A DRUGS charity in Llanelli may pay female addicts not to become pregnant, it has emerged.
Under the highly controversial move being considered by drug and alcohol project Kaleidoscope, the women would be offered money to use contraceptive implants to stop them falling pregnant when their lifestyles are deemed so chaotic they should not have children.
The £50 payment has been suggested by Kaleidoscope founder Martin Blakebrough. Although the project is based in Newport they have a Llanelli branch based in the town’s parish hall on Church Street.
A study has revealed around one third of all childcare social work cases in Wales involve parental substance misuse at a cost of around £117 million a year.
Mr Blakebrough said: “We are not here to judge people, all we are saying is that some people need a bit of a push to benefit themselves and society.
“What we would never say to any woman is that they would never be fit to have children. But with certain groups of addicts, a lot of them are not in the position to have a planned pregnancy, their lives are just too chaotic — the idea is simply to delay the process.”
Llanelli councillor and former mayor John Jenkins said he had “misgivings” about the scheme. He said: “Anyone who has seen an addict in the desperate grip of addiction knows that they will do anything to get their hands on money to fund their drug addict. So this scheme is financially irresponsible.
“Secondly, under the ludicrous Needle Distribution Scheme, we are flooding our communities with needles under the pretence that it is to stop the spread of blood-borne diseases and infections like AIDS and hepatitis. Now, by giving addicts implants to prevent pregnancy we are encouraging addicts to have unprotected sex as most will not see the need to use a condom so it is also medically irresponsible.”
Llanelli AM Helen Mary Jones added: “I think it’s right that Kaleidoscope should be giving this consideration, but we must always remember that people can come back from serious addiction problems, and go on to be responsible citizens and caring loving parents.
“So as a short term measure, while somebody’s life is in total chaos, this seems right, but any permanent measures would be wrong.”