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Chairman Nadler Statement in Support of Resolution Condemning High Rates of Hysterectomies Performed on Immigrant Women Detained at Irwin County Detention Center

Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to whistleblower allegations of mass hysterectomies being performed on women detained at the privately-run Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement in support of H.Res.113, a resolution condemning unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures on individuals without their full, informed consent: 

"The allegations described by women and the multiple media accounts are truly horrifying and must be investigated thoroughly.

"These accusations, now supported by additional reporting, indicate that women at the Irwin County Detention Center have experienced aggressive, potentially unnecessary gynecological treatment, including full or partial hysterectomies or other surgeries, much of which appears to have been performed without the knowledge or consent of the women.  

"As a result of this treatment, women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center may have been sterilized or had lifelong reproductive consequences against their will or without a complete, clear explanation of what the procedure entailed.  This is a violation of the Medical Code of Ethics and of the human rights of these women.

"But these reports are more than just facts on the page – we are talking about real women whose lives will be forever changed because of what may have happened in that doctor’s office.  Many may never start or grow their families.  Others may have long-term health and reproductive consequences.  But all these women will live forever with the pain, confusion, and fear of what appears to have happened in Dr. Amin’s office. 

"That is why this resolution is so important. We must stand up against the long history of forced sterilization, and we must get to the bottom of what happened at the Irwin County Detention Center.  

"While the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Homeland Security have launched investigations, the House Judiciary Committee has also launched its own investigation.  As part of Congress’s oversight role, it is essential that we independently verify what happened to these women.  Along with Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Lofgren and Vice Chair Jayapal, I sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding various documents related to this doctor, and the procedures he has performed.  The letter also asks that all women who have been treated by this doctor not be deported until the investigation is completed.

"Further, just last week, along with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, multiple members of the Judiciary Committee went down to the Irwin County Detention Center to hear from these women directly.

"I want to thank Representatives Jayapal, Kuster, Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Frankel for their work on this and I encourage all of my colleagues to support the resolution."
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