Time running out for North Carolina Eugenics victims to file claims

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Time is running out for Eugenics victims in North Carolina to sign up for compensation. State officials say all claims need to be in by June 30.

However, for one victim, it may already be too late.

Mary Frances English said it appears her medical records were lost, or worse, destroyed.

"I thought it was over," said English, who had much hope. "I'm pretty sure I am not in the archives. There is no telling how much that doctor destroyed."

For years, English, who is a former broadcaster, has been the voice and face of Eugenics victims in North Carolina. She's told her story to state legislators, and ABC11.

In 1972, she was a young pregnant divorcee with three children, when her OB/GYN offered to help her with birth control. Three years later, she learned she had been sterilized -- one of nearly 8,000 residents sterilized between 1929 and 1973.

English was one of the first victims to publicly tell her story, but without medical records to back up her claim, she's not sure she'll be among the victims compensated.

"It is major female surgery, and there are no records of it," said English. "Not only no records of me being sterilized, but of me being hospitalized period."

English says she filled out state claim forms weeks ago. Now she just hopes that's enough.

"North Carolina has always been a leading state and now we lead in this, the correction of something that is and was tragic," said English.

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