You may think that eugenics is the stuff of ancient history, a dark chapter of a distant past we'd like to forget. Targets in the United States included people in institutions, the "feeble-minded" and children of alcoholics. But it went on in the form of forced sterilization into the 1970s, and now one state proposes to right its governmental wrongs. North Carolina, which likely sterilized 7,000 people between 1929 and 1974, passed legislation on Thursday to give $10 million in compensation to victims, of whom only about 200 have yet come forward. Each victim would get about $50,000. If the governor signs the bill, North Carolina will become the first state to compensate such victims.
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