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From 1929 until 1974, an estimated 7,600 North Carolinians, women and men, many of whom were poor, undereducated, institutionalized, sick or disabled, were sterilized by choice, force or coercion under the authorization of the North Carolina Eugenics Board program.Gov. Bev Perdue established the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation in 2010 to provide justice and compensate victims who were forcibly sterilized by the State of North Carolina. The Foundation functions as a clearinghouse to assist victims of the former N.C. Eugenics Board program and thereby serves as the primary point of contact for victims, potential victims and the general public who are seeking guidance about North Carolina’s former sterilization laws and program.- NCDOA

Tillis Builds Support for Eugenics Legislation

Now that the state eugenics task force has made its final recommendations to compensate living victims with $50,000, WHQR’s Sara Wood reports state House Speaker Thom Tillis is preparing a bill to introduce to the General Assembly this spring.

Out of the 7600 people sterilized by the state’s program, it’s estimated there are between 1500 and 2000 still living. Reporter Tommy Tomlinson has been covering the issue for The Charlotte Observer, and attended an emotional town hall gathering in Charlotte hosted by Speaker Tillis last week where 100 people attended, many of them new faces.

“Well I think what has happened is that there are things in families that have been buried in families that maybe even the families didn’t even talk about for 30, 40, 50, 60 years, and now it’s like a volcano, it’s all coming out of the surface. There was a woman in the back who started crying even before the meeting started.”

Tomlinson says Tillis’ staff has 60 days to research a potential bill and methods of compensation. 

Read Tomlinson's full story on the meeting published in The Charlotte Observer.

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