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Democratic lawmakers speak out on allegations of high rates of hysterectomies at ICE detention center

(KYMA, KECY) - Democratic lawmakers are speaking out on allegations from a whistleblower alleging detained immigrant women were forced to have hysterectomies while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in Georgia. 

CNN reports, Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse employed by the center who's represented by the Government Accountability Project and Project South, stated in a complaint that while some women may have required a hysterectomy, "everybody's uterus cannot be that bad."

The Government Accountability Project provides representation for whistleblowers and Project South is a social justice organization.

The complaint is also signed by several immigrant advocacy organizations: Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.

House Democratic Representatives Raquel Terán, Richard Andrade, and Co-Whip Athena Salman had the following to say.

"If substantiated, the whistleblower allegations of mass hysterectomies being forced upon detained immigrant women are a horrifying, totalitarian violation of civil and human rights," said Terán, D-Phoenix. "Forced sterilization of women of color has a gruesome history rooted in eugenics and ethnic cleansing. There is nothing in our Constitution or American values that supports anything like this. There must be criminal and Congressional investigations into this at once." 

“This unspeakable act upon women without their knowledge and consent should never be tolerated in the United States," said Rep. Andrade, D-Phoenix. "If proven, ICE leadership should be fired and criminal charges pursued. We are a nation where all women's rights should be protected.” 

"ICE has proven time and time again to be a cruel, inhumane agency that targets women, children and the most vulnerable among us," said Salman, D-Tempe. "To now learn that ICE has been alleged to systematically engage in forced sterilization of detained immigrant women of color is yet another example of an administration that has lost all connection to American values and human rights. I echo the calls for full criminal and Congressional investigations." 

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