Restitution For Eugenics Victims Tops TFF’s Legislative Agenda


January 9, 2014

The Family Foundation of Virginia today released the highlights of its 2014 legislative agenda, highlighted by joining a bipartisan effort by Delegates Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) and Patrick Hope (D-47, Arlington County) to provide restitution to victims of Virginia’s eugenics policy. Other priority legislation The Family Foundation supports includes bills protecting religious liberty, allowing homeschool student sports participation (“Tebow bill”) at public schools, budget amendments to ban state funding of Planned Parenthood and to align Virginia with the federal Hyde Amendment, and the Pain Capable Unborn Child Act. It will oppose Obamacare expansion of Medicaid, adding sexual orientation to Virginia’s non-discrimination laws, the expansion of gambling, tax increases, attacks on crisis pregnancy centers, and the removal of religious exemptions for home schooling.

Here is The Family Foundation’s official statement on its legislative agenda:

“The 2014 General Assembly will be very focused on jobs, the economy, the budget, mental health reform and rightly so, but our elected officials are capable of handling both economic and social issues,” said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation. “The General Assembly spends the overwhelming majority of its time on non-social issues but those don’t merit quite the attention. Our goal is to be the voice of Virginians who care about values issues and recognize that we cannot have a strong, stable economy until we renew our moral standards.”

A top priority of The Family Foundation is legislation ensuring religious liberty and free speech protections for public school students at graduations and other public ceremonies. Recent incidents of speech censorship at public school graduations around the country offer evidence that religious speech is being targeted. Legislation has been introduced that is modeled after existing state law in Texas and Mississippi, neither of which have been challenged in the courts. The legislation tracks U.S. Supreme Court decision language. 

“Public school students should not be targeted for discrimination simply because their speech reflects or includes their religious beliefs,” said Cobb. “The Constitution is clear and should be applied to students when they are speaking at public school events. It is a disgrace that American students are censored by government officials from simply mentioning their faith at a graduation ceremony, and that shouldn’t happen in the birthplace of religious freedom.”

Another priority will be restitution for victims of eugenics. First introduced last year, this legislation would provide a small financial payment to those whom the state physically denied the ability to have children. Eugenics was practiced in Virginia for nearly two decades, resulting in an estimated 8,500 victims.

“Virginia has apologized for eugenics, but that’s little comfort to those few surviving victims who had their ability to have children taken away from them by an atrocious government act. The idea that the government can deem some worthy of life and others not should be revolting to every American. And while this small amount of money cannot begin to undo the wrong, it is one way to hold a government accountable for its actions and, hopefully, to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

The Family Foundation also will again support legislation that allows homeschool students to try out for sports at the public school they would otherwise attend. Commonly referred to as the “Tebow Bill,” this simple policy of fairness to families who pay taxes in support of local public schools would affect a very small number of Virginia home school athletes. Numerous other states have adopted similar policies with no negative affect on athletic programs or public schooling.

The pro-family organization will also oppose the expansion of so-called Obamacare through Medicaid. Despite promises by the federal government to pay ninety percent of the costs in future years, it is clear by the unfulfilled assurances that people would be able to keep their own insurance and doctors and that there is serious risk to future state budgets by expanding.

“There is no question that we need to figure out new and compassionate ways to deliver health care to the truly needy in Virginia,” said Cobb. “But every day Virginians are seeing the abject failure of Obamacare to fix the problems that we face. We need a new national dialogue on a real fix for our health care system that provides actual care and assistance and doesn’t bankrupt our economy.”

“Neither political party in Virginia has a mandate on anything, which leaves all ideas up for debate, discussion and compromise,” said Cobb. “Values-driven Virginians expect their elected officials to represent them and their principles, and we’ll be there to make sure they do.”


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4 Responses to “Restitution For Eugenics Victims Tops TFF’s Legislative Agenda”

  1. John Slayman says:

    Where will this restitution money come from? If it comes from the state, then that means our wallet. While I agree this was a deplorable policy, we already pay for the “sins of the fathers” with other issues that I and my generation (I’m 52) had no input or effect on. Why not make the guilty parties ( the institutions, doctors and the legislators estates that put those policies into effect) pay for them. When will this stop? All this does is make the trial lawyers more rich with a small percentage going to the claimant, all at the taxpayers expense. I’ve been a party to class action suits (Netflix, Citigroup,etc…) and we get $23.76 and the law firm gets $3.6 million. How does that repay what these people lost (probably after some family member signed away the rights of the victim in the first place)? I support the right to life movement as I believe it is murder, not a choice. The choice part comes in when you decide to volunteer for the act that creates the life in the first place. Many people would welcome these unwanted children (which is what an aborted baby is) into their lives. So how can you determine an amount of money that would bring restitution to those families affected by this? How about we outlaw abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother (unless she’s willing to sacrifice her life for the baby) and allow the families affected by those eugenic policies of yesteryear to adopt these unwanted babies with no lawyer fees and all the other fees we as a culture have attached to the adoption of children. Look into the process of adoption and see how many hoops a normal couple have to go through and then get frustrated with it only to go overseas and pay tens of thousands of dollars to some mostly corrupt government to adopt a child. And it’s said people aren’t for sale, but it happens all the time!

    • familyfoundation says:

      John: Thanks for your comments. In this case, there are only a few remaining victims and only the victims would receive restitution. The commonwealth already has acknowledged its guilt in this matter several years ago. There were no choices in this — the victims were taken by the state from their homes and put into institutions where the eugenics program was carried out. No lawyers will make millions off this — a non-profit (and pro-life) public interest legal foundation is handling the case. The money will probably come from the general fund in which the state regularly budgets for restitution for all sorts of matters — for example, wrongly imprisoned people, such as Thomas Haynesworth. Like it or not, as a state/commonwealth/society we are responsible collectively responsible for situations like this. If for example, we pay for the state to prosecute and protect us from criminals, we need to pay for when the state gets it wrong. – Steve, The Admin

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