Several months ago Conservatives were angered and outraged that the Federal government would require employers to provide their employees with a choice on family planning. Somehow allowing women access to family planning services was seen as an attack on religious freedom. In fact the program was support for religious freedom, the freedom to practice your own religion and the freedom from being forced to observe someone else’s religion.
So one can imagine the Conservative fury over a program like this, a program that actually forced birth control through sterilization on people by government.
On the books from 1929-74, its goal was to keep those deemed to have undesirable traits from having kids. The vast majority marked for sterilization were minorities, poor, undereducated, institutionalized, sick, or disabled. Eighty-five percent were female, some as young as 10 years old.
Wow, pretty ugly stuff, one can imagine the outrage being expressed by Conservatives and their condemnation of this program in a country like
Korea, or China
or some other heathen government. Oh
wait, this was not a program in one of those countries, it took place in the United States.
And yes Conservatives do feel badly about the program, or at least they say they do as long as money isn’t involved.
“While our hearts go out to the victims, the budgetary and economic realities we inherited prevent us from pursuing a financial solution,” Republican Senator Phil Berger said in an e-mail. Others don’t couch their objections in fiscal jargon. “You just can’t rewrite history,” GOP Senator Don East told the Associated Press. “I’m so sorry it happened, but throwing money don’t change it, don’t make it go away. It still happened. If they’re sterile, they’re still sterile.”
And how much money was involved in trying to compensate the victims of the horrible action by government, an action that Conservatives deplore (and rightly so) in other countries.
A bipartisan bill in the
House that would pay each living victim $50,000 attracted more than
50 co-sponsors, including the Republican speaker, Thom Tillis, and easily
passed. The House established an $11 million fund. North Carolina was on its way to becoming
the first state in the country to compensate those harmed by eugenics programs. North Carolina
Yeah, $50,000 to compensate a person for undergoing a forced sterilization program by the state. Not much in the scheme of things. But that was too much for Conservatives.
That’s when things fell apart. Opponents of reparations in the state senate have blocked the bill, claiming there’s no money to spare in
’s $20.2 billion budget. North Carolina
Yes, .05% of the budget, ($25.00 for a family whose income is $50,000.00) but even that is too much for anti-spending Conservatives to partially (and we do mean partially) right a horrible wrong. But everyone knows the real issue here, the money would go to the poor, the minorities and the elderly. These are people Conservatives have no sympathy for, and so no, they do not get anything other than an apology, and one wonders how sincere even that is from lawmakers who voted against this minimal payment.