Eugenics and Reproductive Justice in North Carolina Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
  • Chappell, Bryant Lee
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences
  • The reproductive rights of North Carolinians, African American women in particular, have been severely diminished over the course of US history. The eugenics program established by the state in the early 1900s led thousands of North Carolinian African American women to be sterilized without their consent. The effects of the program continue today, as the surviving victims are unable to procreate due to the irreversibility of the procedure. States such as North Carolina and Virginia have attempted to provide some semblance of an apology for these atrocities in the form of financial payments. However, not all of those who were involuntarily sterilized qualified to receive reparations, and only two of the numerous states that participated in eugenic practices have attempted to aid victims. Also of concern is that involuntary sterilizations are still taking place in the United States, even though North Carolina’s eugenics program ended in 1977. In California, 148 female prisoners were involuntarily sterilized between 2006 and 2010, but the governor of this state passed a bill in 2014 to stop such sterilizations. Even though such legislation and the Affordable Care Act have attempted to protect and broaden the reproductive rights of Americans, numerous problems continue to restrict reproductive freedoms, including complex consent forms.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Global Africana Review
Journal volume
  • 2
Journal issue
  • 1
Page start
  • 22
Page end
  • 28
  • English
Digital collection
  • Global Africana Review
In Collection: