09.15.20

Pro-Choice Caucus leaders call for investigation into allegations of mass hysterectomies at ICE detention facility

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pro-Choice Caucus Chairs, U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), released the following statement in response to a whistleblower complaint alleging forced sterilization of immigrant women at the Irwin County Detention Center, in Georgia:

“The allegations raised in this whistleblower complaint of mass hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women held at an ICE detention facility in Georgia must be investigated immediately.

“If true, the severe medical neglect that allegedly took place at this ICE facility is unconscionable and constitutes a blatant disregard for human life, as well as a serious violation of detainees’ human rights.

“These egregious abuses echo the shameful legacy of reproductive coercion and forced sterilization of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, as well as those with disabilities, in our country. Reproductive coercion has historically been a tool of oppression and if these allegations are true, they are no different.

“As the leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, we strongly condemn the past and present use of coerced sterilization and eugenics at any detention facilities in the United States. Enforced sterilization is a crime against humanity, and we call upon the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General to immediately investigate the allegations put forth in this complaint.

“If these allegations are found to be true, those responsible must be held accountable. Everyone in this country, regardless of their immigration or incarceration status, deserves the right to bodily autonomy and their own reproductive choices.”