State Secret: Thousands Secretly Sterilized
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News
Posted: November 11th, 2006
From the early 1900s to the 1970s, some 65,000 men and women were sterilized in this country, many without their knowledge, as part of a government eugenics program to keep so-called undesirables from reproducing. "The procedures that were done here were done to poor folks," said Steven Selden, professor at the University of Maryland. "They were thought to be poor because they had bad genes or bad inheritance, if you will. And so they would be the focus of the sterilization." Even though the practice ended more than 30 years ago, some say the time has come to make amends. North Carolina was one of the first states out of 33 that once practiced sterilization to offer an apology. State Rep. Larry Womble is crafting a bill to provide financial reparations.