As a young woman, my bodily autonomy is really important to me; it seems that women's rights are questioned on a political basis pretty often, and I tend to listen in on these conversations, because although I am privileged enough to have a sense of safety and security in my body, it's important to stay educated and listen diligently to these issues.
Recently, it has come to light that an immigration detention center in Georgia has been performing an alarming amount of hysterectomies on the women being detained in these centers. This is concerning because, if you weren't already aware, a hysterectomy is a medical procedure in which a woman's uterus is removed from her body completely.
A hysterectomy procedure in and of itself isn't extremely concerning; a hysterectomy is actually a pretty common surgery for women who may have fibroids or endometriosis in order to alleviate pain and other symptoms of the conditions. What is concerning, however, is the rate at which they are being performed at the Irwin County Detention Center, bringing up the question of safety in this detention center.
This concern is further pressed when investigating the population of the detention center and finding out that most of the detainees do not speak English, therefore making communication about a medical procedure as extreme as a hysterectomy very difficult, and consent questionable at best. The controversy beneath it all, though, is what may be the most disturbing aspect of all. If a woman has had a hysterectomy, it is impossible for her to become pregnant because the womb in which a fetus may attach to and grow has been removed. This simple fact leads to the overwhelming discussion of sexual abuse that could go undetected within these detention centers if the women no longer have a uterus.
It's exceedingly important to understand the plight of these detainees and the ways in which their rights are being violated in order to demand justice. It has become increasingly obvious that there are many faults within the systems that we have depended on for so many years, and I believe that it is more important now than ever to keep your eyes and ears open to listen to the stories of others.
The closer we pay attention and the more we care about these individuals, the more capable we are of effecting actual change. I strongly encourage you to read more about this topic and keep your eyes and ears glued to the media in order to ensure that justice is served for the countless women who have endured such abuse, but may lack the voice to demand their own justice.