North Carolina to Pay $10 Million to Victims of Forced Sterilization

North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday passed a budget that includes $10 million to pay the state's victims of forced sterilization. 

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Elaine Riddick was a victim of North Carolina's eugenics program. (Courtesy of Elaine Riddick)

In a landmark move by lawmakers, North Carolina on Wednesday passed a budget that includes $10 million to compensate the state's victims of forced sterilization, NBC News reports.

"There were challenges, we had to better educate our members -- and then of course we had to work through the fiscal challenges -- but at the end of the day, what we've done is something truly historic," state House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, told NBC News.  

From 1929 to 1974 North Carolina forcibly sterilized thousands of men, women and children, usually without their consent.  It was part of a larger eugenics movement that believed poverty, promiscuity, and alcoholism were inherited traits, and that without them the gene pool could be improved. 

Elaine Riddick was raped and impregnated at 13 years old and, after giving birth to her baby boy Tony, she was sterilized against her will. Afterward, she lived for years in shame, but had something to prove. 

"People need to know that injustice was done towards them and they need to be compensated for that," said Riddick.

Read more at NBC News. 

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