January 10th, 2012
11:53 AM ET

Task force recommends $50,000 payment to N.C. sterilization victims

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.

The five-member task force – including a doctor, lawyer, historian, retired judge and retired journalist – met for 10 months and faced a February 1 deadline to send a recommendations to the governor.

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.

soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. s kel

    I would love to..

    January 11, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    Destroy all of the racist bloggers that posted on here

    January 11, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    I ment KILl them.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. s kel

    burn and hang them

    January 11, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. susie

    Idiots shut up

    January 11, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Matte Trygg

    Maybe they should start sterilization programs for the politicians and their children that were involved with this decision. based on what the GOP has put forward for candidates this year, we can see the stupidity spreading fast.

    January 11, 2012 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    Look. Eugenics doesn't have to be racist. It was never intended to be a racially motivated process people who were bigots came along and messed with it. The idea behind eugenics was that we should stop people from producing burdens on an already burdened society. It was a good idea. The problem was that people exploited it. The idea was to stop welfare moms from producing 5 children that they couldn't feed in order to bring up the standard of living. Just remember as much as you may pan eugenics today ... we are fast approaching 7 billion people on this planet and something is going to give soon. I am sorry that the system was abused, but in all honesty .... it was a good idea and apart from a number of high profile failures (like with the death penalty) it worked.

    January 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • 35Bravo

      tell that to the Native Americans, Blacks and Hispanics who were disproportionately targeted by these programs. Tell that to Holocaust survivors. Your statements indicate that the 4th child of a welfare mom has nothing but burden to contribute to society. It is sad that mentalities like yours that are as well thought out and so blatantly ridiculous still exist. If you are so concerned about bettering society, do the world a favor and steralize yourself we wouldn't want anyone catching your rationally thought out irrational idealogies

      January 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jake

    The "Baby Boomers" are aging, becoming more of a burden on society, let's get rid of them.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
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