State News

NAACP seeks to extend deadline for eugenics claims

Posted June 30, 2014

— The state chapter of the NAACP has sent an open letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger seeking a yearlong deadline extension for victims of the state's eugenics program.

Monday was the last day for victims of the forced sterilization program, which ran from 1929 to 1974, to apply for state compensation.

Lawmakers last year set aside $10 million in the state budget to provide compensation to victims of the eugenics program. The exact payment per victim will depend on how many settlements are approved.

As many as 1,800 victims may still be alive, but only 630 had submitted claim forms to the state Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims as of last Thursday.

The office has forwarded 465 of those to the state Industrial Commission, which handles all tort claims against the state and will be responsible for determining whether a claimant is eligible for compensation. The remaining forms have been logged as valid claims and are either missing information or require additional research before they can be processed.

NAACP President Rev. William Barber said North Carolina has not done a good enough job reaching out to victims.

The Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims sent about 1,000 direct-mail pieces to identified victims, made hundreds of telephone calls and partnered with other state agencies on outreach efforts, officials said.

A bill to extend the period to file claims until Sept. 30 was filed last month but has stalled in the General Assembly.

Mary "Bunny" English said she was tricked into being sterilized at a Fayetteville OB-GYN clinic in 1972, when she was 22. She already had three children and said she was told by her doctor that the procedure could be reversed, but when she was getting married a few years later and wanted more children, she learned she couldn't.

"Well, I went back, and he sits there and starts to laugh," English said Monday. "I asked him what's so funny, and he said, 'I sterilized you. You'll never have another child.'"

English, who has fought for the rights of eugenic victims, has already been denied compensation because she can't locate any medical records to prove she didn't understand what was being done.

She said she thinks there are a number of women in the same position who won't be able to be compensated.

"If they're like me with nothing on their medical records from a doctor, they're going to be left out," she said. "I have a feeling that, once I did what I did, well, a lot of medical records might have been destroyed."

Still, she said, being able to finally talk about what happened to her has been helpful.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ijaz Fahted Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You might want to read what was quoted. My reply was in response to that. had you quoted properly it would show up right above your "statement".

  • Ijaz Fahted Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    They certainly seem to be ok with it. Several folks have even come out and said they support it, that it should be done. See Confucius. Heck, your comments are even abrasive and insensitive. You equate this to being on welfare.

    "If you were too lazy to put your name on the list, you lose out. Being an overweight, non-working couch potato, doesn't give you a free pass." - barryhatesamerica

    Two to four years? That seem ample to you? No one would see a dime much less get to say their piece until 2010 when the commission was formed. Until then it sat in the legislature.

    Multiple people on here are "tired of hearing about it". The money has been set aside, they have changed the paperwork required mid way through, and it really has only been open for submittal for the past four years. Seems reason enough to extend it yet folks on here don't want to hear about it much less give people a chance. Haven't these people gone through enough?

  • stymieindurham Jul 1, 2014

    If anything this program was right up their alley. (Republicans)

    BTW, this isn't a partisan issue. Quit trying to make it one.
    I think being partisan is exactly what you just did!!!!

  • Listen2MeNowHearMeLater Jul 1, 2014

    2 Years is plenty of time. Thats really the only issue here. 730 Days. 17,520 hours. Yeah theres enough time there to file.

  • beaupeep Jul 1, 2014

    "Two to four years seems fair to you?" - IJAZ

    Seems MORE than fair to me.

    "You too take issue with Barber. You need to focus on the real story here. I'll give you a hint, it's not Barber or the NAACP." - IJAZ

    Actually, Barber and the NAACP IS the issue here. Perhaps a review of the headline to the story is in order?

  • Ijaz Fahted Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation wasn't formed until 2010. Funding was not approved unitl 2012. Two to four years seems fair to you?

    You too take issue with Barber. You need to focus on the real story here. I'll give you a hint, it's not Barber or the NAACP.

    Sure is nice to share that anecdote about your moms and pops voluntarily being "sterilized". Guess you don't see how that is totally different from forced sterilization.

  • Edward Levy Jul 1, 2014

    As I understand it, no claims can be paid until ALL claims are in and the fund is split up by the legit victims So, those with a legit claim right now are losing out. So the longer it is extended the greater the possibility exists that some may die before the payment to them would be paid

  • A person Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Why?? It has been in the news for over a year now. If they did not do it by now, what would extending it do?

  • Ijaz Fahted Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    While I will not contest that NC was most likely in control when this was passed I cannot help but point out that the Republicans of the same time weren't lining up to protest such a harmful program. If anything this program was right up their alley.

    BTW, this isn't a partisan issue. Quit trying to make it one.

  • Super Hans Jul 1, 2014

    Extend this deadline now!