RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A House committee has approved a bill allowing North Carolina’s four largest counties to compensate people who were involuntarily sterilized by orders of local governments.
The bill approved Thursday applies to Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Forsyth counties. Rep. Paul Stam says the bill doesn’t set aside money for the compensation and allows, but doesn’t require, the four counties to establish a way to reimburse people sterilized against their will.
Elizabeth Haddix of the UNC Center for Civil Rights says the bill maintains “the fallacy” that the counties and state worked separately.
Between 1929 and 1974, about 7,600 people deemed “feeble-minded” or otherwise undesirable were sterilized in North Carolina.
A 2013 law set up a compensation program for people sterilized against their will if the state Eugenics Board ordered the procedure.