Congresswoman: At Least 18 Women Suffered Forced Sterilizations, Procedures

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal said attorneys have indicated at least 18 women have been subjected to forced procedures.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said in a Wednesday statement that she was briefed by three attorneys representing women at the Irwin County Detention Center who were “subjected to forced, invasive procedures by a gynecologist connected with the private, for-profit detention center.”

The congresswoman continued:

It has become painfully clear to me that the initial reports brought to light on Monday by whistleblower Dawn Wooten and Project South are likely part of a pattern of conduct.

Since the initial story broke, I understand that there are at least five independent attorneys representing women who have found themselves to be part of this horrific pattern, subjected to unnecessary forced sterilization or medical procedures over the last several years. It appears that there may be at minimum 17 to 18 women who were subjected to unnecessary medical gynecological procedures from just this one doctor, often without appropriate consent or knowledge, and with the clear intention of sterilization.

Because the majority of immigrants are pro se (unrepresented), it is also possible that there are additional similar cases for individuals who have already been deported or did not have legal representation.”

Jayapal said she is “horrified and outraged to hear these stories, which contain [many] consistencies and raise serious questions about not only this particular doctor but about the entire detention system—largely for-profit—that is complicit in the abuses of rights and has long run roughshod over and ignored neglected the health, wellbeing and human rights of immigrants.”

Read the full statement.


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