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. Ray

    if you can't afford kids, you should not have them. they are NOT societies responsibility they are YOURS!

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

      I agree, some people look at having kids as a business. The more kids you have the more welfare you get .

      January 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      What the hell are you talking about? Did you even read this article?

      January 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • PPark

      It's not your business who has children and how many they choose to have. I wish you lived in N. Korea and were sent to a gulag.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Did you bother even reading the article? These were healthy women and children targeted because they were poor at the time. Forced or coerced sterilization is not an answer and no amount of money is enough to make up for what these people have done to them.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tim

    How much will the lawyers make? How about giving each victim 33% of what they've earned..bet that's more than what is offered. Are government continues to attack others for human rights violations,yet ignores its own violations. And continues experimenting on its own peoples today!
    Propaganda machine at work here..why is no one in jail over this? I say nip them!

    January 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • RTB

      No one is in jail because what they did was legal at the time, even if it was profoundly immoral.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • 35Bravo

      Your right? And who cares if they passed a law that made it legal? Was it any less inhumane? With how frivolously we searched out and prosecuted NAZIS? Anyone connected to this should be in prison for violating human rights. The UN should impose sanctions on us if we don't. That would be the only equal and fair thing to do. Or is America above holding its own accountable?

      January 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    NC didn't do enough of it.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeD

      Yeah, they forgot you.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Royal

    It's sad day for America to hear such file, lewd and vicious comments. But trust me your day is coming and quick that why I pray a Republican is elected to bring about hateful white people down fall sooner!

    January 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeD

      They are called trolls, they get their jollies off being offensive. Don't feed them, just ignore them, they only become stronger if you respond to them.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Pray for a republican? Are you mad?

      January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    Wow. The veil has been lifted from my eyes. I do not think that I could find a more disgusting example of municidal callousness as a solution to poverty. I look through theses comments and I am shamed to even share a country with some of these barbarians. I know evil when I see it, and this is pure.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. randoid1234

    So if the person passed away, can their children collect the money?

    January 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • RTB


      January 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob The Builder

      Wait, what? Did you read the article? The people the article is referring to, were STERILIZED...meaning, no possibility for reproduction, well a seriously small chance, but virtually impossible. The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lisa

    I had no idea that this happened in our country. And until 1974?? Unbelievably sad - what a horrific crime against human rights.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • PPark

      There's more where that came from. Do you realize that there are innocent people locked away in prisons right now waiting for justice? For most, it'll never come.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      It took many years for the veil to be lifted from my eyes as well. Don't get me wrong, I still believe i live in one of the greatest countries on earth, but it is far from perfect. This is why there is the need for a truly transparent government. I'm sure there are many other things happening and that has happened in our great country that would surprise the h*ll out of most of us.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony O

      You should hear what this country did to the Indians and Mexicans!

      January 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    I think that if you can not afford them, you really shouln't have them. I see that everyone is talking about blacks, but whites and hispanics are just as bad for mooching off the system. My neighbor is white and has five kids all by different fathers and on welfare.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      True, but that's not the problem here. These victims' were forcibly sterilized.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Portland tony

    I can understand why this occurred back in the 1920's since there were numerous quacks passing as legitimate scientific professionals during that timeframe. There were numerous dubious procedures carried out by our own government. ala Mengele. But to continue this involuntary sterilization into the 1970's is nothing less than barbaric, and if still living, those responsible should be held accountable.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. contrary to you

    $50K....I wonder how much the "board" would've awarded themselves had their parent been one of the people FORCED to under-go this stupidity. WHAT A JOKE the board members are.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scott in Atlanta

    $50K??? What? Really??? Wow. I guess we haven't really come too far from that whole "3/5's of a human being" thing. "Wheeeeew..." That was the sound of the last statement going right over your head.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yannaes

    Let's do a little selective breeding!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Is there anybody in America whose head that went over?

    January 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Probably a few!

      January 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Portland tony

    Would have commented on the three fifths remark but big brother got me.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mmmmm

    Not enough...at least 1million...at least!

    January 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
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