NC eugenics victims have their say at state sponsored hearing | News
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Elaine Riddick became pregnant at age 13, after being the victim of rape.
"Yes you feel cheated," she said."They gave me a caesarian to bring my son in the world, and when they had me open, they sterilized me at the time."
The exercise of state sponsored sterilizations was carried out in operating rooms and clinics from a period of 1929 to 1974.
At the government center on Wednesday night, a public hearing sponsored by the North Carolina Legislature was held to deal with the issue of eugenics.
Dr. William Barber who heads up the North Carolina NAACP calls it a form of ethnic cleansing.
He said, "The number of black sterilizations rose to a high in 1964 of over 300 where the number of white's were dropping to 200."
Lynn Mendez of Charlotte found out just a few years ago.
"You're not even told," she said. "There's not any recourse for it."
New cases are being discovered. Carol King from Winston-Salem says she was a victim in 1979.
North Carolina House speaker Thom Tillis feels the goal is to right a past wrong.
"I think that it's one of the most horrendous examples...that's just a bad decision made from government that I've ever seen," Tillis said.
Fixing it for Elaine Riddick goes beyond any potential price tag.
"There is a dollar amount that might begin the healing process, but it's not $50,000.00," she said.
Fifty thousand is the amount of money being considered by the state for future settlements.
Finding people to come forward may be a tough task.
Out of 7,600, only 78 victims have been located.
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