May 26, 2011
Imagine having the opportunity to have children being taken away from you, and possibly not fully understanding the procedure that is taking place. That is the reality for around 7,600 North Carolina residents. These individual were sterilized by the state between 1933 and the mid-1970’s, under the now disbanded, North Carolina Eugenics Board. The program was established over a century ago to ensure that people suffering from mental disabilities and other conditions did not procreate.
ABC News reported on the 1968 case of a Windfall, North Carolina, woman who was a victim of the program. At the age of 13-years-old, the woman became pregnant after being raped. The social workers assigned to her case considered her “Promiscuous” and “too feebleminded to be a responsible parent.” After giving birth to the child, she was sterilized without being told.
Yesterday, a task force created by Gov. Beverly Perdue discussed reparations for individuals affected by the program. According to The Charlotte Observer , the task force is finding it difficult to track down patients of the program. State archives collections manager, Sarah E. Koonts, presented information to the board showing that case records contain missing and incomplete data on patients.
If you, or someone you know, was involved in the in North Carolina’s sterilization program between 1933 and 1978, contact a North Carolina personal injury lawyer with HensonFuerst. We may be able to help you.