Civitas Poll: Many Have Doubts on Eugenics Plan Details

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May 30, 2012
CONTACT: Jim Tynen (919) 834-2099

Raleigh, N.C. – The newest Civitas Poll indicates North Carolina voters want to acknowledge the state’s role in a forced sterilization program, but a significant number have reservations about how to properly address an abuse that is now decades in the past.

Slightly less than a majority — 49 percent — support a proposal to compensate each victim, living or dead, $50,000. And 44 percent of those polled said that calling the measure a step in the right direction was the opinion closest to their own.

However, when asked which opinion comes closest to their own, 40 percent chose an alternative: that such a donation of money is an empty gesture, and there are better ways to acknowledge that long-ago part of North Carolina’s – and the nation’s – history.

“The poll shows significant resistance to aspects of this idea,” Civitas President Francis De Luca said.. “People here want the state to acknowledge this sad chapter of our history. But many have doubts that money is the best way to make amends for such a wrong.”

The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina.  For more information on Civitas polling, see

Full text of questions:

As you may know, a bill was filed recently that aims to compensate North Carolina residents who were sterilized against their will between 1933 and 1974.  Under this bill, over eleven million dollars of the state’s budget will be used, paying fifty thousand dollars to both living and dead people who underwent the procedure. This would make North Carolina the first state to offer such compensation.  With that information, would you support or oppose this bill?

49%     Total Support
37%     Total Oppose

33%      Strongly Support
16%      Somewhat Support
10%      Somewhat Oppose
27%      Strongly Oppose
13%      Undecided/Don’t Know
2%        Refused

Still thinking about this issue, please tell me which opinion comes closer to your own…

44% (Some/Other) people say that the proposed bill is a step in the right direction.  They say that while nothing will make them whole again, giving each person some financial compensation is a start.   They also say it would be a milestone for North Carolina to be the first state to institute such a program.
40% (Other/some) people say that the proposed bill is a bad idea because financial compensation after all these years is an empty gesture, and there are better and more appropriate ways to acknowledge this part of the North Carolina’s past, and the plight of those involved.
14% Don’t Know
3% Refused

For the full results and crosstabs, click here.

This poll of 600 registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina was conducted May 19-20, 2012 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ.  All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina.  For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past three general elections (2006, 2008, 2010) or be newly registered to vote since November 2, 2010.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in at least one of the past three general elections or is newly registered since November 2, 2010.

More information on the Civitas Institute is available at, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099.

About Jim Tynen

Communications director at Civitas.
This article was posted in Press Releases by Jim Tynen on May 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Cristy Giddens
    Cristy Giddens Jun 01, 2012 at 12:58

    Monetary compensation is not the answer to everything. Those of us who lived prior to Rowe vs Wade could argue that because we

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