"They Did This To Me"

by
Abby Zimet

Elaine Riddick and her son at the hearing

Horrific tales from a North Carolina task force hearing from the victims of a decades-long eugenics law that oversaw the forced sterilization of over 7,000, mostly poor and black men, women and children, sometimes merely because neighbors gossiped about them. The state has apologized but has not yet  compensated - though, truly, what can that mean? - any victims.

"They cut me open like I was a hog." - Elaine Riddick, sterilized at 14 when giving birth to her only child after being raped.

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