Whistleblower on Doctor at ICE Facility: "Everybody He Sees Has a Hysterectomy"

Whistleblower on Doctor at ICE Facility:

Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network filed the complaint on behalf of detained immigrants at the center and Wooten.

Following some devastating revelations from a nurse-turned-whistleblower at a Georgia immigrant detention center (as shared with the Intercept earlier this week) about concerns over medical practices at the center during the global pandemic, the full complaint obtained by SheKnows provides a grim closer look into the practices putting immigrants detained in the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) - operated by private prison company LaSalle Corrections - at risk and allegedly irreparably harming their health and reproductive freedom.

"When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp.

It was like they're experimenting with our bodies", said one detainee interviewed by the Project South organisation, which filed a complaint to the government.

Human rights groups and a whistle-blower are condemning the Trump administration for the treatment of migrants at a holding facility in Georgia, where they say there's been incidents of negligence and abuse - like forced hysterectomies for women.

The complaint says Wooten was demoted after missing work with coronavirus symptoms, which she believes was retaliation for raising questions about addressing COVID-19.

Wooten is quoted as saying the sick call nurse sometimes fabricated seeing detainees in person when they hadn't and that she saw the nurse shred a box of detainee complaints without looking at them.

In another account that Wooten recalled, a woman was told she needed one of her ovaries removed due to a cyst.

The nurse's complaint was filed with Homeland Security's inspector general, and with the department's civil rights office, the ICE field office in Atlanta and the warden of the detention center.

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She called the doctor "the uterus collector".

"Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy - just about everybody... everybody's uterus can not be that bad". When she tried to explain that to the nurse ("I tried to explain to her that something isn't right; that procedure isn't for me,") she said the nurse got angry and agitated and started yelling at her.

Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that the U.S. needs to "atone" for human rights violations, in response to allegations of abuse against migrants from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) whistleblower.

"She still wanted children - so she has to go back home now and tell her husband that she can't bear kids ... she said she was not all the way out under anesthesia and heard him [doctor] tell the nurse that he took the wrong ovary", Wooten recounted. She declined to take questions after making a statement with no reference to mass hysterectomies or did not quantify how numerous procedures were performed on immigrant women at the facility. The facility is privately contracted by LaSalle Corrections. I know that's ugly...is he collecting these things or something...

Wooten spoke little about the hysterectomy allegation during the news conference, instead focusing on her concerns that the facility wasn't testing detainees for COVID-19, that the detention center wasn't being sanitized, and that little protective equipment was available for employees. She was advised that they were cancerous, but her records indicate she was not given a biopsy to confirm the cancer, he said.

Wooten said in the complaint that the number of women recommended for the procedure was concerning: "Everybody [the gynecologist] sees has a hysterectomy - just about everybody".

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said the panel is conducting an ongoing investigation about the conditions at ICE contractor facilities "and will be examining these new and incredibly serious allegations".

As of Sunday, 42 detainees at the facility had tested positive for the virus, according to ICE.

The agency told the Associated Press that "anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate scepticism they deserve".

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