BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – More than 100 people have been verified as victims of sterilization by the state’s former Eugenics Board program, according to the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.
A total of 111 individuals, whose procedures were conducted in 48 counties, have been matched to the program’s record. None of the 73 sterilizations completed in Bladen County between July 1946 and June 1968 have been verified.
In January, Governor Bev Perdue’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended a tax-free $50,000 payment to living victims and those who were alive when initially verified. The Task Force also recommended providing mental health services to victims, creation and expansion of eugenics exhibits, and continuation of the Sterilization Victims Foundation.
“I am putting together the compensation plan for inclusion in my budget and I encourage anyone who believes they are a victim to contact the Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation,” stated Gov. Bev Perdue in a news release. “They are working hard to identify individuals who were affected, and the steady increase in matches with archived records is an important step in this process.”
The Foundation reported receiving more than 1,300 phone inquiries since January and the number of verified victims is expected to rise, according to Foundation Executive Director Charmaine Fuller Cooper.
“North Carolina operated the most aggressive eugenics program in the nation, sterilizing the majority of its program victims after World War II and the Holocaust. Anyone could have been subjected to a sterilization order and the chances for sterilization were great for those in poverty,” Fuller Cooper stated. “Victims have courageously stepped forward to tell their stories and their courage has inspired more people to contact the Foundation.”