Under what conditions is it ethical to offer incentives to encourage drug-using women to use long-acting forms of contraception? Academic Article uri icon


  • AIMS: To stimulate debate by examining ethical issues raised by Project Prevention, a US-based organization that offers $US300 to addicted individuals who agree to either undergo surgical sterilization or use long-acting forms of contraception. METHOD: An analysis of key ethical questions raised by Project Prevention. RESULTS: The important issues for debate are: (i) what are the reproductive rights of drug-using women; (ii) does a substantial cash incentive undermine the ability of addicted women to make free and informed decisions about long-term contraception; and (iii) how can we best assist addicted women to access good reproductive health care and obtain treatment for their addiction? CONCLUSIONS: We need more research on ways in which small non-cash incentives for reversible methods of contraception could be used in a morally acceptable and effective way to promote the sexual, reproductive and general health of addicted women.

publication date

  • June 2012