'Mass hysterectomies' at ICE happened on Trump's watch. But they're America's problem.
On Tuesday evening, a harrowing report surfaced after a nurse in Georgia, Dawn Wooten, accused Immigrant and Customs Enforcement officials at the Irwin County Detention Center of denying detainees there essential health care and sending women to a doctor who allegedly performed unnecessary “mass hysterectomies.”
“I had several detained women on numerous occasions that would come to me and say: “Ms Wooten, I had a hysterectomy. Um, Why?’” Wooten told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “I had no answers as to why they had those procedures.”
Reaction to the whistleblower complaint filed by Wooten was swift. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has demanded an investigation into Wooten’s allegations. There were renewed calls to abolish ICE by prominent members of Congress. Political talking heads described the allegations as “Nazi Germany-type cruelty happening in Trump’s America.”
The truth, though, is that forced sterilization and other reproductive health crimes against Black, brown, poor, Indigenous and incarcerated people occurred long before Donald Trump made his grand escalator entrance and announced his presidential candidacy in 2015 by calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. If these reports are true, America is not so much mimicking the Nazis as it is building upon a long and racist history.
This isn’t simply ancient history, either. Just a few years ago, in 2017, a Tennessee judge offered inmates reduced sentences and early release dates if they “voluntarily agreed” to have a vasectomy or a birth control implant.
From 2006 to 2010, physicians working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation performed tubal ligations ...
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