Apologies in recent years by North Carolina and a few states such as Virginia, Oregon, South Carolina and California are a start for past sterilization programs of states. The real healing can come only after an apology at the national level, say victim advocates in order to combat the racism that led to these programs and which they say is still evident today.
North Carolina has a Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation and last week gave the okay in their House to compensate victims, then politically blocked compensation by their Senate. The youngest was ten years old.
The director of Native Women’s Health Education Center reports, “Total number of women, including natives, is shocking. The list of abuses are: Native women going in for C-sections and coming out with tubal ligations; Native girls having tonsillitis and coming out with tubal ligations; young Native women being given hysterectomies and told they were reversible, etc.”
Apologies and reparation are good but many say the federal government should make similar amends. “This is a huge stain on the pages of American history. These were atrocities committed in our communities, and there has been no apology or acknowledgment. Why isn’t the federal government apologizing to our (Native) women? States are making restitution, the Federal government should too.”
The wound continues to fester.