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Staggering number of hysterectomies at ICE facility, whistle-blower says

Tribuno Del Pueblo  |  Issue: October 2020

A whistle-blower complaint filed on September 14 by several legal advocacy groups accuses a detention center of performing a staggering number of hysterectomies on immigrant women, as well as failing to follow procedures meant to keep both detainees and employees safe from the coronavirus.

The complaint, filed on behalf of several detained immigrants and a nurse named Dawn Wooten, details several accounts of recent “jarring medical neglect” at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, which is run by the private prison company LaSalle South Corrections and houses people incarcerated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In interviews with Project South, a Georgia nonprofit, multiple women said that hysterectomies were stunningly frequent among immigrants detained at the facility.

“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp,” said one woman, who said she’d met five women who’d had hysterectomies after being detained between October and December 2019.

The woman said that immigrants at Irwin are often sent to see one particular gynecologist outside of the facility. “It was like they’re experimenting with their bodies.”

“We’ve questioned among ourselves, like, goodness, he’s taking everybody’s stuff out,” said Wooten, who was a full-time employee at Irwin until July. “That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector. I know that’s ugly.”

“Is he collecting these things or something,” she continued. “Everybody he sees, he’s taking all their uteruses out or he’s taken their tubes out. What in the world.”

Wooten also said she’d talked to several detained immigrants who’d had hysterectomies but didn’t know why.

As of yet ICE has not given any response to the allegations.

This is one more reason to abolish ICE. Please sign the AFSC petition. Sign our petition to abolish ICE!

Source Vice News

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