A task force has recommended that a one-time payment of $50,000 be given to each of the living victims of North Carolina's forced sterilization program, committee spokeswoman Jill Lucas told CNN.
North Carolina's eugenics program sterilized an estimated 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974, many of them against their will.
The Eugenics Compensation Task Force will make its recommendation to Gov. Bev Purdue who will include the recommendation in the budget she submits to the state legislature which will take this up in the spring, Lucas said.
A preliminary report released in August suggested the state provide victims with mental health services and a tax-exempt payment of $20,000 to $50,000. The report also recommended funding for the continuation and expansion of the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, which operates the task force, as well as funding for a traveling exhibition to educate the public about the state’s defunct eugenics program.
There are few public details about who – if any – were targeted for sterilization and how they were coerced into it.
Nationally, many eugenics programs focused on criminals and mentally ill people, but in North Carolina, it extended to healthy women and children who were often poor and uneducated. Mothers were pushed or tricked into signing release forms for their young daughters to undergo the sterilization operation under threat of losing state-provided aid or custody.
Their stories and circumstances have only begun to emerge recently, sometimes in emotional public hearings, sometimes in phone calls to the victims foundation.FULL STORY ON IN AMERICA BLOG