The state of North Carolina delayed for years compensation of women who were illegally sterilized, and now that compensation checks are finally being sent out, many sterilized women –mostly African-American, poor, or disabled– still won’t get paid.
NPR reported the story of Debra Blackmon, a severely retarded woman who was sterilized at the age of 14 in 1972. Two social workers came to Blackmon’s home and eventually convinced her parents to authorize a “minimally invasive” surgery for the girl. That was a lie.
“They were telling my grandparents that the surgery was going to be minimally invasive. They told them it would be a tubal ligation. And they [wound]up doing a full abdominal hysterectomy — on a 14-year-old,” Blackmon’s niece, Latoya Adams, told NPR.