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Hysterectomies Forced Onto Detainees

As the Immigration Customs and Enforcement Detention facilities in America continue to function and detain immigrants for indefinitely long periods, allegations have come to the attention of the media. ICE Detention Centers have already been scandalously depicted on the news for its inhumane and unhygienic treatment of the immigrants they are detaining. Recently, ICE Centers have taken light with their ill-prepared and lack of precautions regarding the COVID pandemic and lack of capability in regards to keeping the detainees safe. However, a less noticed occurrence happening in the immigration centers focuses on the mistreatment and abuse of women being detained. With the very minimum mentions of these occurrences in the media, the needs of the individuals being held in these provisions are going ignored and unnoticed.

Recently, a whistleblower, who was previously employed at an immigration facility, has released the knowledge that there are mass hysterectomies being performed at the detention facilities. Since this allegation has been brought to the attention of many, stories of multiple women have since been revealed surrounding their experiences being treated for unnecessary gynecological procedures and unwanted hysterectomies. Investigations into these harrowing incidents have proven to be true in many facilities, with the reasons for the non consensual medical procedures for women not warranting the course of action being taken by facility doctors.

The Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia has been the focal establishment in these allegations with a high prevalence of these procedures taking place. The gynecologist, who they named “the uterus collector,” was infamous in the center for performing hysterectomies. It has been later revealed that the doctor in question was identified as Mahendra Amin. The most shocking aspect of this is that Amin is, in fact, not a board-certified OB-GYN. While it’s not a requirement to be board-certified to practice, it does ensure specialty training and provides a more comprehensive education for practicing doctors. Moreover, Amin has faced several lawsuits in which malpractice was alleged – one of which ended with a fatality.

This is a huge call for ethics and morals. It’s immoral to be performing such distressing procedures on any woman. Most of the immigrants at the detention facilities speak little English and are even less aware of what’s happened to them, as well as what the effects of these procedures will be on them. Most women who have shared their stories have claimed that they don’t fully understand the justification for the procedures taking place. Even with these women coming forward and speaking of their fears and concerns, little is being done to protect them or to offer condolences in any way. If these horrid atrocities continue to be imposed upon those being detained, the lack of consequences for those running the facility will only cause more negligent and possibly fatal incidents to fall upon the individuals being imprisoned at the centers.

Unfortunately, as of right now, not much can be done from an external perspective for those who wish to contribute to end the mistreatment of women in detention facilities. The best way to promote reform is to speak out about these issues and keep them mentioned in the media so more people can learn about this outrageous act. You can help by signing petitions to end the separation of families in ICE Centers, abolish ICE, and donate to charities that focus on family reunification and provide safe care for the children who cannot be reunited with their family. 

Katherine Crawford is currently a senior at the University of Delaware. She is majoring in English with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Katherine enjoys reading, writing, wandering museums, and discussing conspiracy theories.
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