The allegations of medical abuse at an immigration detention facility in Georgia come mostly from Black and Latina women. At least 19 women have come forward to say that they were forced to undergo surgeries without their consent. Many of the procedures are said to have been unnecessary gynecological surgeries which impacted their ability to have children.
LA Times released a five-page report written by nine board-certified OB-GYNs and two nursing experts who reviewed over 3,200 pages of records obtained for the 19 women including pathology and radiology reports and consent forms. All were patients of Dr. Mahendra Amin who is the primary gynecologist at the Irwin County Detention Center which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Both Dr. Amin and the referring detention facility took advantage of the vulnerability of women in detention to pressure them to agree to overly aggressive, inappropriate, and unconsented medical care,” the report states. The alarming findings were submitted to members of Congress on Thursday.
The investigation was sparked after whistleblower Dawn Wooten, a registered nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center, filed a complaint to the Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General on September 14 to seek justice for the egregious abuse. In Wooten’s complaint, she made note of “the rate at which hysterectomies are performed on immigrant women” at the detention center. Wooten shared that several women told her their uteruses were removed without their consent. Hysterectomies are irreversible.
The sterilization procedures have left some of the women incapable of carrying a baby to birth. One woman said she woke from surgery with bandages on her stomach and demanded to know what type of surgery she had. Yet, many of the women still don’t know what procedures occurred or why. If true, the allegations are an inexcusable violation of human rights.