Virginia sterilization program

AP News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2015 8:05 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers on Thursday agreed to compensate victims who were involuntarily sterilized by state officials decades ago under a then-widely accepted program.

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

Some facts about the now-discredited program:

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NUMBERS

— More than 7,000 Virginians were involuntarily sterilized between 1924 and 1979 under the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act.

— Nationwide, 65,000 Americans were sterilized in 33 states.

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SETTING A PRECEDENT

— Virginia law became a model for similar legislation passed around the country and the world, including Nazi Germany.

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COMPENSATION

— Virginia is the second state to approve compensation for victims, who will receive $25,000 each. There are only 11 known surviving victims in the state.

— North Carolina approved payments of $50,000 for each victim in 2013.