Ibis responds to reports of hysterectomies without consent in ICE detention center

September 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Today, Kelly Blanchard, President of Ibis Reproductive Health, released the statement below following a whistleblower complaint of an alarming number of hysterectomies without consent in an ICE facility.

We are outraged to hear the reports from Nurse Dawn Wooten, the courageous whistleblower, and activists in Georgia about an alarming number of hysterectomies performed without full information or consent at the Irwin County Detention Center. These reports are yet another chapter in the 400-year-long history of exploitation, torture, and control of Black women and women of color in the United States—from the experimentation on enslaved women, to the exploitation of Puerto Rican women in the development of the birth control pill, to countless other instances—many very recent—of forced or coerced sterilization of Black people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and people with disabilities. These most recent allegations are one more example of the extent to which this Administration does not value the human rights and dignity of people of color, and its hostility to migrants. We demand a full, independent investigation and justice, including reparations, for the women who have been irreparably harmed. We demand an end to the racist policies and practices that perpetuate the mistreatment of Black people, Indigenous peoples, and people of color. We know our movement needs to reckon with and work to repair the history of exploitation in the name of reproductive health, and we stand with our colleagues in the fight for policies that ensure everyone can access the high-quality health care they need from providers and health care systems that center their rights and wellbeing.