Thursday, June 23, 2011

North Carolina hearing explores history of forced sterilization


North Carolina hearing explores history of forced sterilization
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 23, 2011 5:55 a.m. EDT

Deborah Chesson spoke through tears Wednesday as she addressed a North Carolina task force on behalf of her mother.

"I'm writing you with hopes that you will understand the pain, hurt and emptiness I still feel inside," she read.

"A social worker convinced my mom to sign for me to undergo an operation that would prevent me from getting pregnant, not knowing all the while that I was being set up to be sterilized like I was some kind of animal."

Dozens of North Carolina citizens spoke at the public hearing against the state's five-decade forced sterilization program. The listening session, held by the governor's task force, gave victims the opportunity to share their experiences with a state task force charged with recommending compensation for victims and their families.

Eugenics is the process of selectively breeding humans and animals to rid the population of "unfit" characteristics. In 1933, North Carolina passed a revised eugenics law. The law established the North Carolina Eugenics Board, which largely targeted low-income females for sterilization procedures.

Those speaking at the hearing said social workers pressured men and women to undergo sterilization and in some cases lied and said the procedures were reversible.

After World War II, most states abolished their eugenics programs when it became clear that Nazi's used similar practices to further their ideals of racial purity. But the number of sterilizations in North Carolina peaked between 1950-1960, according to state records. Though the eugenics board was abolished in 1977, the law remained a general statute until 2003.

Roughly 3,000 of the 7,600 citizens who were sterilized are still alive. Friends and family members of those sterilized addressed the task force on behalf of their loved ones who could not be present

1 comment:

A Nurse said...

Wow, I didn't know a forced sterilization project existed. I do not agree with how it was put in place.
But I do think that forced sterilization is something to consider. What about those that are a 2yr living in a 21 yr old body? What about those that just want to drain our system that was set up to help people who can't help themselves?
I think if your a mother/father with two children & have been living only on what the goverment hands out, then you do not need to have anymore children. If you can not take care of the children you have, then how can you take care of more in the future?