N.C. task force: State should pay $50K to citizens who were 'forcibly sterilized'

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What is motherhood worth? Apparently $50,000.
  • Fedor Stroganov
  • What is motherhood worth? Apparently $50,000.

A North Carolina task force has proposed that people who were "forcibly sterilized" by the state between 1929 and 1974 should receive $50,000 in compensation. According to the Associated Press story below, those sterilized included "epileptics and others considered mentally defective ... many were poor, black women deemed unfit to be parents," some were rape victims and others were as young as 10 years old.

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

As many as 2,000 people forcibly sterilized decades ago in North Carolina should get $50,000 each, a task force said Tuesday, marking the first time a state has moved to compensate victims of eugenics programs that weeded out the "feeble-minded" and others deemed undesirable.

The payout, which could amount to as much as $100 million, still needs approval from the Legislature. But the prospects for passage of some sort of compensation are promising, since the governor immediately embraced the recommendation, and the House speaker has come out in favor of payments.

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A task force report last year said 1,500 to 2,000 of the victims were still alive, though the state has verified only 72 so far.

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Most states abandoned those efforts after World War II when such practices became closely associated with Nazi Germany's attempts to achieve racial purity, though North Carolina stood out because it actually ramped up its program after the war. Sterilizations in North Carolina peaked in the 1950s, according to state records.

Read the entire article here.


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