N. Carolina Will Pay $10M to Forced Sterilization Victims
First state to compensate eugenics victims
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2013 5:45 PM CDT
Elaine Riddick, who was sterilized as a young girl in North Carolina.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Shawn Rocco)

(Newser) – Over a period of 45 years, North Carolina forcibly sterilized 7,600 people it deemed mentally or socially unfit. Now, 39 years since the state's eugenics program ended in 1974, it will finally make reparations, with lawmakers earmarking $10 million to compensate victims, reports the Wall Street Journal. "No amount that we can afford to pay is enough," says a state lawmaker. "But this is sufficient for the living victims to know that the state of North Carolina sincerely regrets the injustice that we've done to them."

The state has only identified 177 victims of the program so far. It estimates three-quarters of those sterilized are now dead, and others are difficult to track down due to incomplete records, name changes, and marriages. Part of the $10 million will go to the administrative costs of tracking down more victims. North Carolina was just one of 33 states with eugenics programs, reports CNN. More than 60,000 people across the country were forcibly sterilized last century—20,000 in California alone. But North Carolina will be the first state to compensate its victims. "The money don't take up the place of what happened," says one man, now 80, who was sterilized at age 14, per the Journal. "I'm glad they did something, though."

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Showing 3 of 172 comments
Sisumomma
Jun 5, 2014 4:31 PM CDT
Not to worry, sterilization continues big time just another experiment on women. Essure sterilization is being pushed on women and the rate of pregnancy is quite high. FDA pushed this one thru PMA so the company does not have to stand accountable for the damage done by these coils. The company and FDA knew this product could have some long term problems and short term adverse events but they approved it anyway. The thousands of women suffering from migrating coils continue to suffer because doctors are not diagnosing Essure as the problem. They continue to push this as the best product for their patients but really it is the best product for the doctors. Follow the money in this one too because doctors do not want to get off this gravy train.
shelbd
Jul 31, 2013 2:17 PM CDT
Why did you even mention her race sunniladi? Who cares? So, now your ASSuming because shes black that she was on welfare? How ignorant of a comment you made! Yes, some who are on drugs or have children that they are not taking care of (neglect, abuse, etc, not just because poor) should be a candidate, but dont try to put it as this is a good job if people are on welfare, because if you read it, some were only 14 when it happened! I'm sure it wasnt as much children giving birth as it is now. And by the looks of it, most teen moms are white!
sunniladi
Jul 29, 2013 4:20 AM CDT
many years ago after having my son, i shared a room with 3 other women, the last one brought in was black and completely out of it for the 5 days i was there. she would alternately cry, scream, thrash around and have "accidents" constantly so they finally put her in diapers. while i was there she never gained complete consciousness. she was never brought her baby and the 3 of us wondered what was wrong with her. one day, 2 men and one woman came to speak to her (they tried, anyway) and were trying to wake her up and make her sign something, but she never woke up. they tried again the next day but the curtain was drawn so we didn't know if she signed or not. we later found out she was addicted to heroin, as was her baby, who was her 5th, and she was just 20. i suspect she was likely on welfare and they were trying to get her permission for sterilization. to this day, i don't know what the right thing to do was, but i can at least understand how this could happen to some women.