Payments for Victims of Virginia’s Forced Sterilization Policy Delayed Again

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RICHMOND (WRIC) – Payments
for victims of Virginia's forced sterilization policy have been delayed once
again.

State lawmakers voted to
push legislation to compensate the victims to next year.

Life is filled with steps.
Some forward, but for Virginia's sterilization victims, it was a step backwards
Wednesday.

“I don't
know if they're ever going to pass it,” says Lewis Reynolds. “They don't give
me no hope”

Reynolds is used to having
no hope. The 30 year marine had his hopes of having a family ripped away when
he was just a boy because he displayed signs of epilepsy. He was sterilized by
the state
to “take a burden off him in the future” – a future he's
now living all alone

“I don't have nobody
to take care of me. I am all by myself.”

Reynolds and Virginia's
other sterilization victims have been lobbying for Virginia to compensate them $50,000
each out of the surplus budget.

On Wednesday, Del. Bob
Marshall stood before a House appropriations sub-committee presenting his Justice
for Victims of Sterilization Act.

“Nobody would dispute
a grave injury was done,” Marshall says.

There was no dispute from
across the political spectrum. The Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU
and Catholic Bishops of Virginia were all in agreement.

“I have never seen a
bill that was supported by the Catholic Bishops of Virginia, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood
and myself.”

Despite the likely first
of a kind solidarity, committee members were not moved to action.

“To me this is just
an effort to dismiss one more year the cry of justice,” Marshall says.

“We're going to take
a look at it and see what we can do…” says Del Riley Ingram. “I can't promise
you action will be taken.”

“I don't
know [if this will pass]. I'll be 87 this year,” Reynolds says.

87
years. That's a life with a lot of steps and now those steps carry the weight
of another year of rejection.

 

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of
Richmond

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