A bill opposed by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington that would have allowed evolution and creationism to be explored in Virginia
science classes is dead, at least for this legislative session.
After being tossed back and forth between committees, the bill was left in the state legislature’s Courts of Justice Committee. Any bills not crossed over between the House and the Senate side by now are no longer considered during the legislative
Also no longer under consideration is a bill that would have required financial
compensation to be paid to those who were sterilized involuntarily between 1924 and 1979 under the Virginia Sterilization Act of March 20, 1924.
While that bill is dead, the House of Delegates has inserted a $500,000 budget amendment to pay for restitution, which the JCRC is supporting, explained Debbie
Linick, JCRC director for D.C. and Northern Virginia. The JCRC has been trying to
insert the state’s involvement in sterilizing residents into history classes, as well as obtain compensation for the victims.
Sterilization was considered an acceptable practice in Virginia following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Buck vs. Bell decision in 1927. That case went on to be used during one of several court proceedings following World War II in which several Nazi doctors who were on trial for their medical experiments cited the Virginia case law in their own defense.
— Suzanne Pollak