A whistleblower complaint filed Monday alleges that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Georgia has committed “jarring medical neglect” and suggests that many of the migrant women housed at the location have been forced to have hysterectomies even though such procedures were medically unnecessary.
Law & Crime reports:
“The (whistleblower), Dawn Wooten, was employed at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.
“Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed. Additionally, many of the immigrant women who underwent the procedure were reportedly ‘confused’ when asked to explain why they had the surgery, with one detainee likening their treatment to prisoners in concentration camps.”
According to the complaint, a woman detained at ICDC told Project South that she had spoken with five different women who were held at the center between the months of October to December 2019, and all them had a hysterectomy done. When the woman asked the detainees about the surgery,”the women ‘reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.'”
Wooten verified the high number of hysterectomies, which she says were recommended by a gynecologist who almost always called for the removal of part or all of the uterus from his female patients:
“’Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody,’ Wooten said, adding that, ‘everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.’
“’We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out…That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector. I know that’s ugly…is he collecting these things or something…Everybody he sees, he’s taking all their uteruses out or he’s taken their tubes out. What in the world.'”
Other detainees reported that the Irwin County facility had not been performing routine tests for the novel coronavirus.
When asked to comment on the complaint, ICE issued a statement which reads in part:
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not comment on matters presented to the Office of the Inspector General, which provides independent oversight and accountability within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE takes all allegations seriously and defers to the OIG regarding any potential investigation and/or results. That said, in general, anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve.”
Featured Image Via NBC News