- May 9, 2012
The meeting room was nearly quiet Tuesday afternoon as Rep. Larry Womble, a Winston-Salem Democrat, urged the House Judiciary committee to endorse $50,000 payments for eugenics victims as a moral right. The committee approved the bill to applause from the audience, and it now moves to the House budget committee.
From 1933 to 1974, a board created by the legislature ordered that “mentally diseased, feeble-minded or epileptic” people be sterilized. The board also ordered sterilized people who were poor or who were thought likely to have disabled children. Other states had eugenics programs, but North Carolina’s was one of the most robust. The board authorized the sterilization of about 7,600 people. About 1,500 to 2,000 are thought to still be alive.
Womble has been fighting for compensation for victims for 11 years. He had to make a special effort to make it to Raleigh on Tuesday. He was gravely injured in a car accident last year that killed another driver. Womble has lost weight, his voice is weaker, and his legs are elevated in the wheelchair he uses.
“This is not a perfect bill,” Womble started, almost in a whisper, “but it is a bill that separates North Carolina from the rest of the world.”
Under the bill, people verified by a state Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims and determined eligible by the Industrial Commission would each receive $50,000.
I don't know about anyone else but 50K sounds very inadequate. If you consider that hospitals pay out way more for accidently maiming a child, and the fact that you took the very essence of being a woman, her pride to have her own children, away.