Task force meets Tuesday on compensation for N.C. sterilization victims | News

Task force meets Tuesday on compensation for N.C. sterilization victims

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Elaine Riddick, a victim of forced sterilization, speaks before a state task force that could recommend compensation for the nearly 3,000 living victims sterilized through the N.C. Eugenics Board.
  • file photo by Adam David Kissick
  • Elaine Riddick, a victim of forced sterilization, speaks before a state task force that could recommend compensation for the nearly 3,000 living victims sterilized through the N.C. Eugenics Board.

A state task force will meet Tuesday to decide what compensation the state government should offer victims of North Carolina's eugenics program.

The N.C. Eugenics Board forcibly sterilized at least 7,600 men and women from 1929 to 1974. More than 2,900 of those victims are thought to be alive today. Nearly anyone could petition the state to sterilize someone and prevent them from reproducing because they were diseased, addicted to drugs, or "feebleminded." Read the Indy's coverage of the issue.

The Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force released a preliminary report in August with a set of recommendations: lump sum financial compensation, plus health services for the living victims, funding for a traveling N.C. Eugenics Board exhibit and the continuation and expansion of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.

The task force will finalize its report and send it to Gov. Bev Perdue. If Perdue accepts the recommendations, she could include compensation for victims and funding for other services in her state budget, which will go to the N.C. General Assembly when it reconvenes in May.

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