Woman shares story of forced sterilization as post-Roe concerns continue

A woman shares her story with CBS 46's Yasmina Alston of forced sterilization as post-Roe concerns continue.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 1:05 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As tensions over the Roe v. Wade reversal continue, more Georgia women are stepping forward to share their personal stories and fears.

Marietta resident Elaine Riddick says there’s not a day that passes where she doesn’t think about what happened to her and why it was done.

Riddick told CBS46 she was raped at 13, gave birth to her son at age 14 and then was involuntarily sterilized in the hospital.

According to Riddick, the forced sterilization happened in 1968 at a North Carolina facility.

It wasn’t until age 19, that she discovered what had been done to her.

“They gutted me open,” Riddick said, about the sterilization. “Because I was feebleminded, I was promiscuous, I had never done a day’s work in my life at 13 … what do you expect? I was a victim of rape.”

Now Riddick calls herself a survivor after a hard fight for justice.

“They felt that they didn’t violate my civil liberties, that they didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “According to the state of North Carolina I’m feebleminded, I won’t be able to take care of myself.”

With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, Riddick said she fears what’s to come for women, especially black women.

Riddick is pro-life but told CBS46 the reversal can have impacts that she hopes don’t lead to more forced sterilizations.

“I see how they took and violated our bodies, our reproductive health organs,” she said. “I see where it’s coming from and I see where it came from.”