The following statement was given by Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb at today's press conference regarding the Justice for Victims of Sterilization Act: Thank you, Delegate Cline. And thank you again to Delegates Cline, Marshall and Hope for your leadership in bringing this issue to light and pursuing this reasonable restitution for victims of Virginia’s eugenics history.

I’m Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation, and we as an organization were honored to be part of a diverse coalition that supported the Justice for Victims of Sterilization Act.

I can think of few greater injustices than a government physically altering human beings without their consent, to deny them the right to give life and to have a family simply because that government deems them unfit. The legacy of eugenics and forced sterilization in Virginia and the precedent it set for atrocities around the globe can never truly be repaired. And while Virginia has apologized for eugenics, 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.

Beyond that, history has shown us time and again that a government that links arms with science that is decoupled from morality, ethics and humanity is a very dangerous thing. Our hope is that, while this small amount of money cannot begin to undo the wrong done, it is one way to hold a government accountable for its actions. And, hopefully, this will set a new precedent that will prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

We are pleased that the budget includes this restitution. It is long past time for our government to accept responsibility for its actions. Thank you.