A whistleblower complaint was filed on Monday by multiple legal advocacy groups over claims of mass hysterectomies being forced on migrant women at an ICE detention center. For those who are unfamiliar with the procedure, it is the surgical removal of one’s uterus.
Advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Georgia Detention Watch, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network filed the complaint to the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. The petition was filed on behalf of Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia who bore witness to the hysterectomies, which were done excessively on many women who were confused about why they were getting surgery in the first place. One detainee compared the treatment in the facility to that of concentration camps.
“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies,” the unnamed detainee said.
Wooten detailed shocking claims regarding the detrimental procedure, which utilized an outside gynecologist, who conducted his hysterectomies differently than most. Instead of removing a portion of the uterus, the doctor would remove all parts of the female uterus, earning him the nickname “uterus collector” among staff at the facility. He would also gain the women’s consent by Googling Spanish phrases.
“We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out… That’s his specialty; he’s the uterus collector,” Wooten explained. “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.”
Lasalle Corrections, which runs the Irwin County Detention Center, maintains their innocence and claims to be following all appropriate guidelines.
“We are deeply committed to delivering high-quality, culturally responsive services in safe and humane environments,” a spokesperson said.
ICE has not publicly commented on the complaint, and with Trump supporting their efforts to rid the country of immigrants, there’s a big chance that these women may never receive justice.