Monday is final day to file a claim for those forced to be steri - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Monday is final day to file a claim for those forced to be sterilized in North Carolina

Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population through sterilization. It was happening until 1974 in North Carolina. | Source: WMBF News Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population through sterilization. It was happening until 1974 in North Carolina. | Source: WMBF News

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Thousands of people in North Carolina forced to be sterilized by the state's eugenics program must have their claim forms postmarked Monday, in order to be eligible for their share in $10 million dollars in reparations.

Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population through sterilization. It was happening until 1974 in North Carolina.

Officials from the North Carolina Office of Justice for Sterilization say that as of June, only 630 forms have been received, while 1,500 people have been identified as eligible and alive.

The stories are shocking and sad.

Elaine Riddick spoke about how she was sterilized at the age of 14. She shared her story in Raleigh in 2011.

"They cut me open like I was a hog," cried Riddick.

Riddick was raped when she was 14 years old. When the baby was born, the doctor decided that would be her last biological child.

"The reasons North Carolina gave was that I couldn't get along with other kids, that I was feeble minded, and that I was promiscuous," said Riddick.
     
North Carolina is one of 33 states that practiced eugenics in the U.S. South Carolina stopped in 1963, but the Tarheel state's program is considered one of the most aggressive ending in December of 1974.
     
Data shows nearly 8,000 people were sterilized.
 
In a final report to the then-Governor in 2012,  the commitment to pay $10 million dollars to verified victims is outlined.
 
"I would recommend that they get the form printed out and filled out and put into the mail today," says the C.O.O. of North Carolina's Department of Affairs Dee Jones.

The $10 million will be split among all verified parties. Officials estimate the funds will be about $50,000 dollars.

If you're filing a claim on behalf of a loved one who has passed, you are only eligible for funds, if your love one died after June 30, 2013.

Claims must be postmarked with today's date. Here is a link to file a claim: http://www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov/

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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