A North Carolina task force has recommended a $50,000 payout to each victim of a discredited state program that sterilized people against their will from 1929 through 1974. The Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force was chaired by Dr. Laura Gerald, MPH ’02, a pediatrician.
Compensation “sends a clear message that we in North Carolina are people who pay for our mistakes and that we do not tolerate bureaucracies that trample on basic human rights,” said Gerald in a January 10, 2012 Associated Press article.
More than 7,600 were forcibly sterilized under the program, which singled out people who were mentally ill, sick, poor, uneducated, or had criminal records. The task force recommended that payouts be made to roughly 2,000 living victims.