Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the ICE detention center in Irwin County, Georgia, submitted whistleblower complaints about unwanted hysterectomies performed on multiple immigrant women being held in the center. Under the pretense that they were undergoing other procedures, the accused, Dr. Mahendra Amin, performed unwanted hysterectomies and other sterilization procedures on the detainees. Upon reading the headline, I was absolutely disgusted. It is horrifying to hear about what occurs in the ICE detention centers, from lack of testing for COVID-19 in the centers (another whistleblower complaint) to inhuman conditions of the centers.
Violence against immigrant, Black, and POC women, and those that identify as all or some of those groups, is nothing new. America has a history of sterilization. The government funded sterilization programs in thirty-two states in order to control immigrant, poor people, those with disabilities, people of color and anyone else that was deemed "undesirable" or unfit to reproduce. It is a war that is waged against these groups of people.
In the ICE detention center, the ability to have children is literally torn from these women. It is torn from young women who hope to have a family of their own. It is torn from women who want to have another child. It is stolen from the people who want to have another generation to learn and continue their culture, their language, and their history. Forced sterilization is ethnic cleansing. The same ethnic cleansing that is happening around the world in China against the Uighurs and Palestinians. These are the same horrors in the Holocaust that shocked everyone else around the world. It is happening once again and must be stopped.
It isn't the only violence that these women must protect themselves from. Dawn Wooten displays courage in exposing these crimes. As a black woman, she risks her own safety putting herself out there to do what is right: reporting the atrocities occuring in our own backyards. In reporting the injustice, she makes herself a target. She is making sure that she is on the right side of history. She is putting the lives of other's before her own. Her strong sense of justice, her morals, her selflessness is what makes an excellent healthcare provider. Nurses and doctors are supposed to care for their patients --that extends beyond healthcare field and into the social and political aspects that affect health.
Dawn Wooten did her part in reporting and bringing awareness of the injustice happening in the ICE detention centers. It is time to take action. Calling your representatives and emailing them, demanding investigations of the centers and the cruelty of them. The following link is a prewritten message that will be sent to your representatives in your home state. Another action you can take is calling the Call the GA Composite Medical Board at 4046563913 to get Dr. Amin's license revoked. These are concrete steps you can take to be more involved and hold those accountable for their crimes.