Bill To Overturn Eugenics Law Passes State Senate
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 4, 2003
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA--The North Carolina Senate voted unanimously Thursday to overturn a 74-year-old eugenics law that had allowed 7,600 people to be sterilized -- many against their will. The vote came just one week after state House voted 116-1 to throw out the law that has not been used since 1974.
The sterilization law came into effect in 1929 during the eugenics movement, based on the racist idea that society could be improved by keeping people with disabilities, and other "undesirables", from having children. More than 66,000 people in 33 states and two Canadian provinces were legally sterilized during the early and middle part of the last century.
During the 1960s, most of those sterilized under North Carolina's law were young black women and girls.
Last December, Governor Mike Easley became the third governor to apologize for a state's eugenics past, following the governors of Virginia and Oregon. He has appointed a panel to look into possible reparations and counseling for North Carolinians who were forcibly sterilized.
Easley is expected to pass the bill to overturn the eugenics law.