Today, North Carolina moves closer to shutting the door on one of the state’s more shameful episodes. June 30 is the deadline for victims of the state’s long-running eugenics program to file for compensation from a fund N.C. lawmakers approved in 2013.
As of last week, 630 sterilization victims or their families had filed claims for compensation from the $10 million fund, according to the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims. The office has forwarded at least 320 of those claims to the Industrial Commission to determine eligibility; the remaining claims have been logged in as valid pending further information from the victims or additional research by the office.
Sadly, North Carolina ran one of the most aggressive involuntary sterilization programs in the nation, lasting from 1929 through 1974. More than 7,600 men, woman and children who had been declared mentally or physically unfit to reproduce, often on flimsy or faulty evidence, were left barren. Toward its end, most of those targeted were black girls and women of modest means.
As shameful, state officials balked and dragged their...see more