The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

March 25, 2003

Schoen To Speak on N.C. Eugenics Program March 31

Johanna Schoen, assistant professor of history and women's studies in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will deliver the Women's History Month address at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center on Monday, March 31. She will speak about her research on the North Carolina Eugenic Sterilization program, beginning at 3 p.m. in Room GO8.

Schoen's research was featured recently in a five-part investigative report in the Winston-Salem Journal. (The series is online at Although the records of the Eugenics Board of North Carolina are officially sealed by the state, Schoen was granted permission by the state Attorney General to review the records as a graduate student. She earned her doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 1996. The newspaper series led to an official apology by the North Carolina governor and to the appointment of a special Eugenics Study Commission, which is now looking into the possibility of reparations to sterilization victims and other forms of retribution.

Her book, "A Great Thing for Poor Folks: Birth Control, Sterilization, and Abortion in Public Health and Welfare in the Twentieth Century," which examines the role which birth control, sterilization, and abortion played in public health and public welfare programs between the 1920s and the 1970s, is forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,