More details have emerged about the whistleblower complaint (a nurse who worked at the location) alleging that Latina Immigrants detained in ICE administered camps were subjected to unnecessary medical procedures including hysterectomies.
It seems that the main target of these complaints is a Georgia Physician who had to settle, with others, a Medicaid Fraud case in 2015 for $500,000.
His nickname became “the uterus collector.”
If the complaint is true, at least 17 women may have been victimized by these unnecessary medical procedures.
The reaction has been strong on the need to investigate the whistleblower complaint, prosecute those responsible if true, and compensate those who were injured and had their ability to have children horribly taken away from them.
Over 170 Members of the House of Representatives have demanded an investigation into these allegations.
The reaction in Arizona has been near-universal in its revulsion at what may have happened.
Earlier in the week, three members of the Arizona State Legislature State Representatives Raquel Teran, Athena Salaman, and Richard Andrade issued a joint statement from the Arizona Capitol that reads:
“If substantiated, the whistleblower allegations of mass hysterectomies being forced upon detained immigrant women are a horrifying, totalitarian violation of civil and human rights,” said Terán, D-Phoenix. “Forced sterilization of women of color has a gruesome history rooted in eugenics and ethnic cleansing. There is nothing in our Constitution or American values that supports anything like this. There must be criminal and Congressional investigations into this at once.”
“This unspeakable act upon women without their knowledge and consent should never be tolerated in the United States,” said Rep. Andrade, D-Phoenix. “If proven, ICE leadership should be fired and criminal charges pursued. We are a nation where all women’s rights should be protected.”
“ICE has proven time and time again to be a cruel, inhumane agency that targets women, children and the most vulnerable among us,” said Salman, D-Tempe. “To now learn that ICE has been alleged to systematically engage in the forced sterilization of detained immigrant women of color is yet another example of an administration that has lost all connection to American values and human rights. I echo the calls for full criminal and Congressional investigations.”
There have been other reactions among leading Arizona political figures.
Congressional District Two Representative Ann Kirkpatrick
I am appalled about the recent news that immigrant women in ICE detention centers have been routinely sent to a doctor who performed unnecessary hysterectomies.
I joined 172 of my House colleagues in calling for a full investigation of this situation.https://t.co/dlCiHTCCoG
— Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (@RepKirkpatrick) September 16, 2020
House Congressional District Four Democratic Nominee Delina DiSanto tweet
What the hell? Are they the wrong color? Are they not human enough to be able to have a family when they want? This is an abuse of power over people being hid away for private prisons to get paid and violated because they are #women.
Tax dollars, our tax dollars are being spent
— Delina DiSanto (@delina4az) September 15, 2020
House Congressional District Five Democratic Nominee Joan Greene
“We are supposed to be the Good Guys. The Country that charges into other Countries to stop the atrocities they are inflicting on their people. This current administration has allowed the evil to have free reign to commit human rights violations. The actions of ICE and anyone associated, no matter how high up the chain of responsibility, must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Legislative District Eight State House Democratic Nominee Sharon Girard
“I entered my career, practicing medicine as a Physician Assistant, to provide care and support to women. I was primarily dedicated to the female population, wanting to make sure women had full autonomy over their bodies throughout their lives. I also wanted to provide the education our society failed to give to its girls and women on how their bodies functioned and how best to maintain health and wellness. This is why what’s happening at this detention center cuts me to my core. As a Women’s Healthcare provider, I am enraged and appalled. How dare anyone take away a women’s right to govern and care for her body as she sees fit. How dare anyone eliminate a woman’s right to reproduce against her will.”
“I have been a whistleblower in my career and paid a price. I understand the bravery it takes to speak out and I applaud this nurse. I lost my position with the doctor I spoke out about but was given another job, thankfully, I landed on my feet. I was lucky because I had a professional career and a good relationship with the chief of staff. It takes a lot to speak up, but your conscience calls you to do so. I would do it again if necessary.”
“I have been fighting for women’s rights my whole life and I am ready to stand and fight to make sure not one more woman has surgery against her will or understanding. Our bodies are precious. Our rights our precious. I assisted in performing thousands of hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries. In modern medicine, we are performing them less and less because we have found many ways to preserve fertility and retain the uterus. There are fewer reasons in modern times to have a hysterectomy. We have many ways to treat fibroids, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, cysts, and even cancer without uterine removal. Modern technology has been a great benefit to women. What is happening is malpractice. What is happening is assault and battery. What is happening is genocide.”
Legislative District 16 State House Democratic Nominee Dr. Helen Hunter
“The allegation of “Unspeakable Forced Hysterectomies ICE DETAINEES” is appalling. This feels like déjà vu. If these allegations are proven to be true, the state of Georgia and the federal government must bring swift and aggressive legal action against the perpetrators. The state must also put safeguards (and leaders) in place to ensure these atrocities can never happen again. The victims and their families must also receive comprehensive physical, mental, and monetary support. This is domestic violence at its ugliest.”
Legislative District 11 State Senate Democratic Nominee Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza
“As we move into LatinX Heritage Month, traditionally known as Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s hard to celebrate how far we’ve come when we’re continuously reminded that we haven’t actually come far at all. Rather than highlighting the many contributions the LatinX community has made this month, we’re learning about horrible human rights violations against our communities by US federal agencies. We should be lifting up the voices of our marginalized communities of color. Instead, we’re hearing the cries for help from women detained in ICE facilities. It’s no secret that people of color have been targets of strategic sterilization for centuries. What’s even more alarming is that we’re still fighting against these abuses in 2020. I fully support the statements put out by the House Democratic Caucus and thank them for speaking out against these horrific human rights violations. “
Legislative District 12 State Senate Democratic Nominee Lynsey Robinson
“Upon hearing about this, my heart broke and as I imagined the horror these women felt my soul became overwhelmed. If substantiated, all involved should be criminally prosecuted and the administration fully investigated. This unspeakable, unfathomable horror in modern times is enough to cause pause and review of our immigration policies immediately. These women are not doing anything different then what any of us would do if our lives and that of our children were threatened. We would all seek refuge somewhere else. Lest we forget that it was our own version of tyranny that brought us to what would eventually become America. I refuse to accept this as our new normal. We have been here before and hence the distrust among minorities when it comes to our nation’s police, healthcare system, and our government in general. We only one have option, we must punish all involved and eradicate all vestiges of this impulse among the powerful to abuse the vulnerable whether they are women, children, minorities, or others. Those who wield power without a moral compass are cancers to the soul of America.”
Legislative District 13 State House Democratic Nominee Mariana Sandoval
“This agency has demonstrated cruel, inhumane, and ungodly treatment of immigrants, particularly children and women. These allegations are an atrocity, it’s horrific to think that in 2020 our government is engaging in the forced sterilization of women of color in detention centers. This would definitely constitute a clear violation of human rights. I adamantly support the calls for full criminal and Congressional investigation and the leadership of this agency should be held accountable for the results.”
If the whistleblower complaint is true, this is not a case of law enforcement officials making a clerical error.
This is a case of civilized behavior being eclipsed by incompetent reactionary barbarism.
If it turns out the complaint is true due to gross incompetence of the authorities in charge (no matter how high it goes up the leadership pole,) the guilty need to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and go to jail.
If it turns out the complaint is true due to the prejudices and Social Darwinist perspective of the authorities in charge (again, no matter how high it goes up the leadership ranks,) the guilty need to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and sent to prison.
Justice needs to be served for the victims of these Nazi-like acts.
People who believe in decency and the sanctity of human rights should challenge anyone who believes no wrong was done here to explain themselves to the people.
This is the United States of America. WE are supposed to be better than this.
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