North Carolina May Pay Forced-Sterilization Victims $50,000

A task force convened by North Carolina governor Beverly Perdue has spent months debating what the state should do for the 1,500-2,000 living victims of its forced sterilization program, which targeted poor, black, and disabled residents all the way up into the seventies. Now, the task force has recommended that each victim (one is Elaine Riddick, pictured above) should receive $50,000 in reparations payments, as well as counseling services. The state legislature still has to approve the proposal, and it's not all that victims' advocates have asked for — one proposal called for payments of $1 million. Still, Dr. Laura Gerald, chair of the task force, says the proposal sends the message that "We in North Carolina are people who pay for our mistakes."