Governor Mark R. Warner Official Web site of Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner  

May 2, 2002here

Statement of Governor Mark R. Warner
— On the 75th anniversary of the Buck v. Bell decision —

“I am sorry that I am unable to be with you on this important occasion.

“In 1924, Virginia, like many states, passed a law permitting involuntary sterilization. In 1927, Carrie Buck was the first person sterilized by the Commonwealth pursuant to that law. Virginia's actions were upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the government ultimately sterilized approximately 8,000 people.

“Last year, the General Assembly passed a resolution expressing profound regret for the Commonwealth's role in the eugenics movement. Today, I offer the Commonwealth's sincere apology for Virginia's participation in eugenics. As I have previously noted, the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved.

“We must remember the Commonwealth's past mistakes in order to prevent them from recurring. This highway marker will serve as a constant reminder of how our government failed its citizens and how we must always strive to do better.”

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Governor of Virginia - Mark R. Warner
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