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Reports of Forced Sterilization of Women in ICE Detention Deeply Alarming

NEW YORK - Responding to reports that there have been hysterectomies performed on immigrant women detained in the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, Denise Bell, Researcher on Refugee and Migrant Rights, said:

The reports of hysterectomies performed on women detained in Irwin County without their full consent are deeply alarming. According to the report, some women were reportedly unsure why the procedure was performed, or they were not fully informed of what procedures would be performed on them.

Unfortunately, the United States has a history of forced sterilization, including of Indigenous women, Black women and other women of color, incarcerated women, and intersex people. In addition to a violation of a person’s rights to health and safety & sexual and reproductive rights, forced sterilization can constitute a crime against humanity under international law.

No one should be sterilized without their full consent, and people should be not be detained for seeking asylum.

As a first step, Congress and the DHS must both urgently investigate these allegations. These horrifying allegations demonstrate that the abusive practice of immigration detention in the United States cannot be continued. We renew our call to the administration to free people in immigration detention.

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