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NAACP Seeks to Extend Deadline for Victims of State Sanctioned Sterilization

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North Carolina’s NAACP is working to extend the deadline for women who were sterilized byeugenics.jpg the state. The group joined with Forward Together Moral Movement to protest in Raleigh and push the legislature to extend the deadline for claims from last month to June 30, 2015.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, says that the state hasn’t been successful at reaching out to survivors, according to WNCT.

“We shouldn’t have a deadline that would victimize them more,” Barber explained on Monday “There was no arbitrary deadline for the eugenics program.”

Only a few of the people sterilized between 1929 to 1974 are still alive. Only a third of the people who qualify have applied to gain access to the $10 million fund set aside for those women who were sterilized because they were believed to have had inferior genes.

In total 7,600 people were sterilized by either force or coercion. Chris Mears, head of the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims, says the deadline for victims to file claims was 5pm yesterday. If a judge changes the deadline, Mears said they would make allowances for it.

Anna Roberts, spokeswoman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, says extending the deadline would endanger the process.

“Extending the deadline would delay the payment to some qualified recipients,” Roberts wrote. She said they have made an effort to reach victims with “direct mail pieces, made hundreds phone calls and partnered with other agencies to attempt to reach as many victims as possible … It’s time for the qualified recipients to receive their compensation.”

Barber sent a letter calling into question the state’s efforts.

“If state legislators work to extend this deadline, they will show they are serious about making amends,” the letter read. “If they do not, we will know that this restitution program is merely a political ploy to get political points in an election year.”