Some have suggested $20,000 for a settlement. 57-year-old Elaine Riddick, who was sterilized at 14 after becoming pregnant from rape and whose illiterate grandmother signed the consent form with an X on the urging of social workers, has sued the state for $1 million. While her case was appealed to the US Supreme Court, it has refused to hear it.
62-year-old Charles Holt thinks $30,000 might be enough. Sent to a state institution for people with mental and emotional issues after “fighting at school and masturbating openly,” Holt undergoing a vasectomy seems to have been a condition of his being able to leave to begin his adult life. A social worker convinced his mother that he have the surgery, noting that it would protect him “in case he were falsely accused of having fathered a child.”
It takes my breath away to think that, had my teenage son Charlie, who’s on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum, lived just half a century earlier, he could have suffered the same fate as Ramirez, Riddick and Holt.
The Winston-Salem Journal has an extensive report about forced sterilizations in North Carolina, including records from the Eugenics Board. Whatever settlements the state of North Carolina decides on, I don’t think it can ever be enough truly to compensate for the pain, suffering and inhumane treatment experiencing by too, too many.
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo by A.M/ Kuchling
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!