NC Sterilization Victims To Tell Their Stories

RALEIGH - Elaine Riddick was a frightened, pregnant 14-year-old when her illiterate grandmother put an "X" on a piece of paper from the North Carolina Eugenics Board.

That "X" meant Riddick, now living in Atlanta, was sterilized in 1968 through a state-sponsored program that claimed the reproductive rights of 7,600 mostly poor men and women between 1929 and 1974.

To atone for the actions of the now-discredited state program, victims and their relatives are invited to Raleigh on June 22 to tell their stories to the Governor's Task Force on Compensation for Eugenics Victims.

Task Force Director Charmaine Fuller Cooper says the testimony will give panel members a better understanding of how the program hurt those sterilized and their families, including chronic medical problems, emotional trouble and failed relationships.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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