Friday, March 2, 2012

First US state recommends redress for forced sterilization

Similarly to the Czech Republic, state-enforced sterilization of those considered "undesirable" has also been practiced in the US.

Between the 1920s and 1970s, 60,000 Americans, many of them poor and black, were sterilized. The state of Georgia apologized for its role in the eugenics movement in a 2007 resolution by the General Assembly.

More than 30 states drafted sterilization laws and created eugenics boards that passed judgment on inmates of mental institutions and also those on welfare rolls or those recommended by social workers. Children as young as 8 years old were sterilized.

In January, North Carolina became the first of the 32 states with sterilization programs to consider compensating its victims. The redress amount would amount to $50,000 for each victim, but is still only a recommendation sent to lawmakers along with the Governor's budget proposal in time for the May legislative session.

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