Eugenics in America: NC Victims of Forced Sterilization Still Await Justice

Elaine RiddickEugenics - "The practice of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled, selective breeding." 

Forced Sterilization of "undesirables" is a eugenic practice.

From 1929 to 1974 7,400 Americans (mostly minorities, women and children) received forced sterilization under North Carolina eugenics laws.  Almost 40 years later, the victims of this atrocity are still awaiting restitution from the state government.  Elaine Riddick is one of them

The following is an excerpt from a November 7 2011 Rock Center story by Michelle Kesser and Jessica Hopper:

Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967.  The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized.  Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes.

“I have to carry these scars with me.  I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” she said. 

Riddick was never told what was happening.  “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said.  “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”

Riddick’s records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. The records label Riddick as “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.” They said her schoolwork was poor and that she “does not get along well with others.”

“I was raped by a perpetrator [who was never charged] and then I was raped by the state of North Carolina.  They took something from me both times,” she said.  “The state of North Carolina, they took something so dearly from me, something that was God given.” Read the rest of the story here

North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program, with the eugenics laws remaining on the books until as late as 2003. In light of the recent Penn State molestation scandal, the Herman Cain allegations and the controversial Mississippi fertilization initiative it is imperative that we understand that atrocities do happen in America and it is our job to protect each other.  Most importantly we must remember that all men, women and children have a God-given right to control their own bodies.

Note: Elaine Riddick was hardly mentally deficient as the North Carolina Eugenics board suggested.  She ended up going to college and raised her son to be a successful entrepreneur.

Some facts about forced sterilization in the U.S.:

Between 1907 and 1963, over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States (source).

One of the biggest advocates of Eugenics and forced sterilization was Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood.

The Nazis modeled their eugenics program after the program established in the United States.

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