Payments To NC Eugenics Victims Included In State Budget

10:45 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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Raleigh, NC-- A proposed budget agreement sets aside $10 million for one-time payments to North Carolina's forced sterilization victims, but the final amount paid to each individual will depend on how many come forward.

Under the terms of the compromise budget unveiled by the Republican legislative majority on Sunday, each verified victim of the state-sponsored eugenics program that ended in the 1970s will split an equal share of the $10 million.

A group set up to help the victims estimated last year that up to 1,800 victims are still alive, though the identities of only 168 have been verified so far with available records.

North Carolina is the first state to pay for the lives that were damaged. Nearly 8,000 people were sterilized from 1929 to 1974.

Some people were sterilized for being mentally ill, having behavioral problems, even having alcoholic parents, or being poor.

News 2 talked to Karen Beck two years ago when she was fighting for victim compensation. Beck's grandmother was sterilized right after she gave birth to Karen's mother. Karen's great aunt was also sterilized and never had children.

Beck, "They said that she wore coveralls. That she played with a little boy that was younger than herself. They said she had difficulty playing in group situations with other children and that she wouldn't look anyone in the eye."

Click here: Families, People In North Carolina's Eugenics Program To Speak Out

A state advisory board previously recommended payments of $50,000. But if 1,000 victims are eventually verified, the $10 million now proposed will cover payments of only $10,000 each.

For more information about the program click on NC Eugenics Board.

NC Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, Associated Press

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