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. Sassafrass

    What ever you happen to believe regarding this article and what atrocities happened to these people, it doesn't matter. This was a complete disregard for these people's civil rights. If it's done on a voluntary basis, I think that's a different story. Has anyone ever thought to offer a financial gain for these people in order to ensure they don't reproduce? Just throwing that out there.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna

      Forced sterilisations should be brought back!!!
      So many people today should not be allowed to produce.

      Sterilisation for both men and women wouldnt be a bad thing. lol

      January 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I agree with Anna. We can start by making it a requirement for welfare and food stamps. If you can’t take care of yourself, you have no business having kids.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      It should be a "civil right" of mine NOT to be forced to support these people that continue to have kids when they can't support themselves!!! I'm all for sterilization (I even have a few family members that should not have been able to "spawn"!).

      January 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • 35Bravo

      @tammy/anna/sean so you want to require steralization for food stamps? why not force them to work in concentration camps while youre at it? make em pay for their burden on society

      January 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lhpogo

    If everyone in the US including educated rich people were forced into sterilization after they had had one child, people would revolt. But because they are poor and uneducated, some people seem to think it's ok. Sick, selfish people.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Satan Q. Public

    OK to end this as it has become boring...a peace offering...10 dollars in scratch offs (scratch offs keep the poor happy) and coupons to wal-mart and Burger King.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CinciLife

    Well, there goes my hope for mandatory sterilizations for child molestors, abusers, neglectors, ect...

    January 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. josephz2va

    $50,000 won't fix lives. Not even $500,000. If you want to fix lives, you'd have found a way to unsterilize them. $50,000 is how much a high-paying american makes in one single year. This doesn't fix the fact people can not obtain children ever again. If they wanted to compensate them, they should have done a better job like IVF incubators.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Satan Q. Public

      LOL...now you should be sterilized...you are insane!

      January 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      While you can't undo a hysterectomy, to my knowledge, the original article mentioned that some men received vasectomies, which are reversable. In addition to the cash, the state could pay for the reversal of the vasectomies for those who want it (although those in old age may feel it's too late).

      January 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Church Lady

    NC You are way more intelligent and wiser than Satan and chooch put together 100 fold. Some have cold hearts and always thin of the dollar amount. (shallow thinkers) If only the Romans could have been their parents. Look that one up too Satan and learn something before you speak.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Church Lady

    Satan and chooch- things that make you wanna say HMMMMMMMMMMM

    January 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Satan Q. Public

    Dig deep in your pockets Church...if you will pay for these kids and the retribution...I will put you at the top of the charts.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church Lady

      I don't have to did deep in my pockets we all pay for the transgressions of a over-reaching government. Your Galton views make you seem more like a comrade than an American citizen. I think you need to reach deeper into your heart, if you have one? It seems that you think privledged wealthy make them intelligent or social genius'. I believe the person who helps and understands make the person more intelligent than a money grubber who thinks money makes the Man.
      Satan you da man?

      January 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Drowlord

    That's a pretty horrific crime. But $50k is a good chunk of money. As far as class-action style compensation goes, that's a decent payout. It sure beats the "nothing" that they were going to get.

    Not that I think eugenics and sterilization are inherently a bad thing. The government should offer $20k for young people (like 18-24) without kids who are willing to be sterilized, and $10k for young people who do have kids. Poor people should have incentives to NOT have kids, instead of welfare incentives to reproduce. The ones who really want children should still be able to do it, though. Being a parent is a great experience for people with the proper mindset and commitment, although I know a lot of people who really hate being weighed down by it.

    January 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Geri

    Money won't change anything.... this was done in some cases without consent.... what was the world coming too....

    January 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. esther

    That is a joke!!! They should appeal this amount, take to a higher court!!!

    January 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. j mann

    one victim went immediately to a Men's Warehouse and bought a sharp three piece suit. "If I'm gonna be impotent I'm gonna look impotent!" he exclaimed.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JB

    $50,000 is a reasonable figure. After all they would have received much more if they had been allowed to keep kicking out welfare babies. Offer all childbearing age welfare recipients $50,000 to have their wings clipped and watch the lines form at the clinic.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AQ

    Ah the South... why do we keep them around again? Thank you, Lincoln, for *wanting* them as part of the union. If only he had known...

    January 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @ AQ
      The bigotry and ignorance you display toward the south is akin to the bigotry and ignorance you claim to condemn. In other words, you are a hypocrite.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wpbdenise

    Doesn't seem much of a compensation considering what these people went through, being forced into being sterilized. How about adding in some free health benefits for life.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
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