Carrie Buck

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Carrie Buck and her mother

Carrie Buck was the plaintiff in the Buck v. Bell Supreme Court case, which upheld the practice of forced sterilizations.


Buck was born in 1906, and when she was 17, she became pregnant after being raped by a relative of her foster parents. She was sent to the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feeble-minded near Lynchburg, where her mother had also been a patient. After giving birth to a daughter, Buck was identified as a candidate to be sterilized in order to reduce the likelihood she would have more children. The Buck v. Bell case was a test of Virginia's law that authorized the practice. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that 'three generations of imbeciles' is enough. [1]

Buck died in 1983 after living in Waynesboro for many years. [2]


  1. Web. Carrie Buck, Virginia's Test Case, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, retrieved April 18, 2012.
  2. Web. This Day in Charlottesville History, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 18, 2012.