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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

NC Verifies More Sterilization Victims

More than 100 victims of forced sterilization have been verified by the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that nearly 7,600 documented sterilizations were performed in the state between 1929 and 1974.

The foundation has verified 111 victims so far, including a handful across southeastern North Carolina. Director Charmaine Fuller Cooper says that North Carolina operated the most aggressive eugenics program in the country with most sterilizations occurring after World War II and the Holocaust.

Back in January, the governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended paying sums of $50,000 only to living victims. The task force also suggested increased mental health services for victims and the creation of a traveling eugenics exhibit.

Lawmakers could vote on the recommended compensation for victims during the short legislative session in May.

NOTE: Governor Bev Perdue is encouraging anyone who believes they are a victim to contact the foundation. Call 877-550-6013 or visit www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov.

After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.