The task force — which is charged with submitting a preliminary report to Gov. Bev Perdue by Aug. 1 — did not schedule a next meeting. The group anticipates reconvening in September, according to a press release from the Department of Administration.
“I want to be clear that the Task Force has not decided on any particular recommendations in regard to compensation,” stated Dr. Laura Gerald, Task Force Chair, before the meeting adjourned. “We still have a lot of work before us.”
The final report is due to the Governor by Feb. 1, 2012.
Among the topics discussed by Task Force members were whether compensation should be limited to living victims only; the amount of financial compensation; whether additional resources, such as health insurance or mental health counseling, should be provided; and the need to keep open the N.C Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation
Today’s two-and-a-half hour session ended with public comments from several individuals affected by the program and Rep. Larry Womble of Forsyth County, a longtime advocate for their cause.
Members of the audience made impassioned pleas for the board to include in its recommendations the estates and survivors of deceased victims, who they say share the emotional burden of involuntary sterilization, and to increase the payment amount significantly from the $20,000 currently under discussion.
If you believe you are or know someone who may have been affected by the program and would like to verify your status and access your patient files, call the Sterilization Victims Foundation’s toll-free hotline 1-877-550-6013 for information, or visit the Foundation’s website: www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov
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