On September 15, 2020, a whistle-blower complaint alleged that immigrant women in a privately-run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Ocilla, Georgia were being coerced into unnecessary hysterectomies and subjected to medical neglect.
In light of this horrific news, the NWHN wanted to present a brief history of sterilization and reproductive abuse in the U.S. and to make clear that this is an on-going issue for the reproductive rights of marginalized communities. The NWHN also seeks to make clear that REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ARE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS!
What Is a Hysterectomy?
First, a bit of background on the procedure. A hysterectomy involves surgically removing a person’s uterus; afterward, they cannot become pregnant.
Hysterectomy is the second-most frequently performed surgical procedure among U.S. women of reproductive age. On average, about 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S. every year. One-third of all U.S. women will have a hysterectomy by age 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.2 percent of all women of reproductive age (15-44), and 10.6 percent of women aged 40-44 have had a... see more