Virginia to compensate victims of forced sterilizations

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia lawmakers have agreed to compensate victims who were involuntarily sterilized by state officials decades ago under a widely accepted program. The Virginia General Assembly budgeted $400,000 to compensate victims at the rate of $25,000 each. More than 7,000 Virginians were sterilized between 1924 and 1979 under the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act. There are only 11 known surviving victims. Eugenics is the now-discredited movement that sought to improve the genetic composition of humankind by preventing those considered “defective” from reproducing.Virginia is the second state to approve compensation for victims. North Carolina approved $50,000 in compensation in 2013. The Virginia law became a model for similar legislation passed around the country and the world, including Nazi Germany.

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