Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and blacks
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of MSNBC
Posted: November 22nd, 2011
Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967. The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized. Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes. Riddicks records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. The records label Riddick as feebleminded and promiscuous. They said her schoolwork was poor and that she does not get along well with others. North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program. By the 1960s, tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized as a result of these programs. Eugenics was a scientific theory that grew in popularity during the 1920s. Eugenicists believed that poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism were traits that were inherited. To eliminate those society ills and improve societys gene pool, proponents of the theory argued that those that exhibited the traits should be sterilized. Some of Americas wealthiest citizens of the time were eugenicists including Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Procter and Gamble fortune and James Hanes of the hosiery company. Hanes helped found the Human Betterment League which promoted the cause of eugenicists.
Note: For additional information view the MSNBC video accompanying this report (click here). If you want to explore even deeper into this disturbing news, click here. The article fails to mention that the laws for sterilizations like this were not removed from the books until 2003.