By: Teddy Grant
California will be the third state in the country to pay reparations to the victims of forced sterilizations of incarcerated people that was possible under the state’s eugenics laws, according to ABC 7.
The reparations program is a part of the state’s $75 million budget, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Monday. About $7.5 million will be allocated for reparations.
Kelli Dillon, one of the survivors of involuntary sterilization, told ABC 7, “Oh my goodness. I can’t even explain the overjoyed feeling that I have. But also the feeling of relief.”
She added that what happened to her and others “was a crime against humanity.”
“The advocacy, the journey of justice we’ve been on has been 20 years for me, but for some survivors, has been for over 40 years,” Dillon said.
California performed around 20,000 forced sterilizations between 1909 and 1979, per reports.
“Eugenics really put forth the idea that anyone that was kind of physically or mentally ‘deficient’ was a social liability,” said Natalie Lira, a researcher at the Department of Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told ABC.
Starting next year, survivors could see payments of up to $25,000, The Guardian reported.
Virginia and North Carolina also have programs that give reparations to survivors of sterilizations in state-run eugenic programs.