Rita Thompson Swords was sterilized by a doctor after delivering her second child. She was 21, unwed and poor, a combination that made her unfit for more children, according to the North Carolina Eugenics Board.
Credit Julie Rose for NPR
John Railey of the Winston-Salem Journal says the eugenics program in North Carolina "was always hiding in plain sight."
North Carolina was poised to become the first state to compensate people who had been sterilized against their will under decades of eugenics laws. More than half of states had forced sterilization laws, but North Carolina's were particularly aggressive.
A bill to pay the victims nearly passedin recent months. But "nearly" isn't enough for the victims who risked their reputations to go public with their stories.
Now they — and their advocates — wonder what comes next.
Many local businesses fear they won't win contracts for the 2012 Democratic National Convention because they can't boast a "union bug," like the small blue oval above, that can be found on some material printed by Consolidated Press.
Credit Julie Rose / WFAE
Tim Mullaney heads Consolidated Press, one of Charlotte's few union print shops. His business has been contracted for several jobs for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., face a bit of a conundrum as they try to honor their party's deep ties to organized labor in a state with the lowest percentage of unionized workers in the nation. Local businesses worry they'll be passed over for unionized competitors, which are few and far between in the right-to-work state.