Pain laid bare at eugenics hearing in Raleigh

Charlotte Observer reports:

Tense moments and tears – that’s what happened Wednesday night when politicians, professionals and upset citizens gathered to talk about the history of North Carolina’s eugenics program and what to do for the victims of it. …

One woman who said she was sterilized in 1979 – after the state’s program was officially over – said she was told she wouldn’t get food stamps unless she agreed to be sterilized. (Some research shows that doctors and hospitals acting on their own sterilized people under the Eugenics Board’s general guidelines. Those victims wouldn’t be eligible for anything from the state.)

Elaine Riddick, who was sterilized at 14 after she was raped, brought a box of tissues for herself and other victims. “This is something that we will never get over,” she said. “It’s on your back every time you turn around.” …


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