Above: The Justice for Sterilization Victims Project works to provide reparations and other forms of justice to victims of sterilization which was often practiced in the into the 1970s.
It is a shameful chapter in Virginia history: the forced sterilization of men and women deemed “feeble-minded” and “mentally unfit” from 1924 through 1979.
Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, hoped to provide reparations for victims of the state’s eugenics program when he filed House Bill 1529 in January. The bill, however, never made it through crossover, killing it for the session.
he “Justice for Victims of Sterilization Act,” would have allowed for payments of $50,000 to victims of the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act of 1924.
Virginia had the second highest sterilization count in the nation. Virginia officials estimate that HB 1529 would have cost $76 million over the next five years for the reparations, victim research and administrative fees. Virginia would have funded the program only if it had a state budget surplus.
Read more about the history of sterilization in Virginia here