WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – There's a new push in the state to compensate those who were sterilized against their will as part of the North Carolina Eugenics Program.
From the 1929 through 1974, thousands of men and women were forcibly sterilized by the state.
Plans to pay back those victims stopped short last year.
However, Representative Susi Hamilton (D – New Hanover) plans to co-sponsor a bill with House Speaker Thom Tillis (R – Mecklenburg) that will be introduced next month, which could finally compensate those who were forcibly sterilized.
Over the past year, we've introduced you to some of the victims of the program, including Elnora Mills from Brunswick County.
In 1967, she went into a Wilmington hospital for a ruptured appendix. Since she had a nervous breakdown a year earlier, the state ordered that she be sterilized. Her parents approved.
It wasn't until she and her husband tried to have children a few years later that she found out she was sterilized. The two have been married for 44 years and are still grieving over not being able to have a family.
The state confirmed there are 186 living victims.
Earlier this year, the state considered giving $50,000 in compensation to every living victim.
The measure passed the house but stalled in the senate.
Now, Rep. Hamilton believes victims will get the compensation they deserve.
"You're dealing with a set of victims who are nearing the end of their lives and this has been heart-wrenching thing for them to relive that part of their history and I think it's good that we have a bi-partisan effort and everybody seems to be rowing in the same direction," she said.
Governor-elect Pat McCrory is also said to be in favor of the compensation plan.
We will update you once the bill is introduced in Raleigh.
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