Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967. The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized. Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes.
Riddick was never told what was happening. “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said. “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”
Her records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program. By the 1960s, tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized as a result of these programs.
To read more about this story, click here. Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s full broadcast report, ‘State of Shame’, airs Monday, November 7, at 10pm/9c on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.