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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Forced sterilization in North Carolina still in the news

Major props to serious newspapers for keeping this story in our minds.

The story is still shocking, even for those who know it well:

Charlotte, N.C. - Janice Black's crooked signature crawls across the consent form. She didn't know what kind of paper she was signing. Her name was the only thing she knew how to write.
It was 1971. She was 18. Janice's IQ had tested out at 44. Her estimated mental age was 7. Her family decided she wasn't fit to raise children.

Her stepmother took her to Charlotte Memorial Hospital. Janice didn't know why. She didn't feel sick.
She woke in a hospital bed. She tried to get up, and it hurt. She looked and saw an incision from her belly button on down.

The state of North Carolina had sterilized her.

Between 1929 and 1974, the state - through the N.C. Eugenics Board - authorized the sterilizations of some 7,600 North Carolinians who were classified as mentally ill, epileptic or "feebleminded."

by Tommy Tomlinson and Ann Doss Helms, McClatchy Newspapers

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