In response to a nurse’s whistleblower complaint alleging forced hysterectomies and other medical neglect at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia privately operated by LaSalle Corrections, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Medical Director of the Audre Lorde Health Program Dr. Kaiyti Duffy issued the following statement:
“The Los Angeles LGBT Center commends Registered Nurse Dawn Wooten for her courage to bring into light the accounts of women who reported they were subjected to hysterectomies without their knowledge or consent at ICE detention centers. We stand in solidarity with Ms. Wooten and the immigrant women of color who said they underwent forced sterilization while being held unconstitutionally at the ICE prisons.
“The U.S. medical system has a shameful history of complicity in systematically ignoring and undermining the health and medical needs of women of color. The Center calls on federal officials to immediately commence an investigation of the doctor(s), the ICE prison system, and administration officials who may have been involved in these atrocious practices. Such practices have long been condemned as both unethical and illegal. These actions are consistent with other actions made by the Trump administration, which has targeted immigrants for abuse since it began its jurisdiction over ICE and the Department of Homeland Security more than three years ago.
“The Center calls upon medical organizations throughout the country to denounce this systemic abuse of immigrant women and to join us in our demand for a rigorous investigation to hold these physicians accountable for any medical and emotional abuse for which they are responsible. As an LGBT organization, we strongly support efforts to protect and uphold the reproductive and sexual autonomy of all people and denounce the racism inherent in treating immigrant women in such a brutal and inhuman manner. We will continue the fight to protect those most vulnerable to this type of violence and to hold perpetrators accountable.”