Tuesday, January 21, 2014

North Carolina Gives Compensation for Forced Sterilization

“A moron is a person whose mind never develops beyond that of a ten year old child.”

In a yellowing 1950s pamphlet, being a moron seems to be the only apparent requirement for subjugation to North Carolina’s old sterilization program. Eerily, it entails the benefits and reasoning behind Eugenics, and its necessity in preventing the ‘feeble-minded’ from rearing children. Decades later, victims of the program who were only in their teens at the times of their operations, have stepped forward to describe the action taken against them and others.

More often than not, victims were poverty-stricken families that the state was reluctant to see expand and become even more dependent on taxpayer money.  Elaine Riddick was deemed ‘feeble-minded’ and ‘promiscuous’ after she was raped and became pregnant at age 13. Her grandmother, with whom she lived, was pressured to sign papers legitimizing her sterilization at the threat of removing all welfare benefits from the entire household. She remained unaware the operation had taken place until many years later.

Eugenics was practiced in over 30 states across the country and ran from 1929 to 1974. North Carolina is the first to offer financial compensation, promising each victim $56,000 in reparations. So far, only 177 victims have been identified and confirmed.

You can find the ARTICLE HERE. (It’s a tad old, but still relevant.)

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