The House immigration subcommittee is investigating a whistleblower complaint accusing doctors at an ICE detention center of surgically removing detainees' wombs
- The House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship is investigating a whistleblower complaint alleging an unusual number of hysterectomies at an immigrant detention facility, a Democratic staffer told Business Insider.
- On Monday, immigrant advocacy groups published a whistleblower complaint from a nurse at the privately run Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.
- The complaint alleges that immigrant detainees are being sterilized at an unusual rate, sometimes without their consent.
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The House committee charged with oversight of the US immigration system is investigating a whistleblower complaint alleging an unusual number of hysterectomies at a detention facility in Georgia, Business Insider has learned.
In a Monday letter to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, Project South and other immigrant advocacy organizations highlighted testimony from Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the privately run Irwin County Detention Center, and other employees raising "red flags regarding the rate at which hysterectomies are performed on immigrant women."
"I've had several inmates tell me that they've been to see the doctor and they've had hysterectomies and they don't know why they went or why they're going," Wooten said in the letter. She alleged that the facility relies on one gynecologist in particular: "Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody."
Following the report, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship launched an investigation "to dig into this complaint," according to a Democratic staffer familiar with the committee's work.
The subcommittee, chaired by Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Pramila Jayapal, has jurisdiction over immigration enforcement and border security.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. In statements to the BBC on Monday, ICE said it's "firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody" and that "anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve."
This is not the first controversy involving the Trump administration and the reproductive systems of detained immigrant women.
In December 2017, a federal judge issued a restraining order after it was revealed that the Office of Refugee Resettlement was trying to prevent detained women from obtaining abortions.
In 2019, MSNBC reported that the office, led by Trump appointee Scott Lloyd, was also maintaining a spreadsheet tracking the pregnancies of detained immigrants.
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