Virginia to pay back forced sterilization victims

Posted at 1:44 PM, Feb 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-27 13:44:57-05

Richmond, Va.- Lawmakers in Virginia have agreed to pay back victims who were sterilized involuntarily by state officials.

Decades ago, the program was widely accepted, and today victims are finally being heard and compensated for their loss.

Between 1924 and 1979, over 7,000 Virginians were sterilized under the Eugenical Sterilization Act. At this time, there are only believed to be 11 surviving victims. Eugenics was a movement aimed at improving the genetic composition of mankind, and sought to prevent those considered “defective” from reproducing.

The Virginia General Assembly budgeted $400,000 to compensate victims at the rate of $25,000 apiece.

This will make Virginia the second state to approve compensation for such victims, following North Carolina who approved $50,000 in compensation in 2013.

-Meghan Puryear