Horrifying Whistleblower Account from an ICE Detention Center


The Linked Legacy of Genocidal Racism and Female Enslavement

by Noche Diaz, National Spokesperson for the Revolution Clubs

| revcom.us


Editors’ Note: In addition to the allegations by whistleblower nurse Dawn Wooten that women held at an immigration concentration camp in Georgia had been given hysterectomies without their knowledge, as detailed below, a new New York Times investigation reports that other women prisoners there may have been forced to undergo “other invasive gynecological procedures that they did not fully understand and, in some cases, may not have been medically necessary.” The Times interviewed 16 women who were concerned about the care they received while at the ICE prison and had medical experts review records of the women who were able to obtain them. In one example, an immigrant from Jamaica who was having menstrual cramping was told by the doctor that she had large cysts and masses on her uterus that needed to be removed via a major surgical procedure. As a detainee, she felt pressured to give consent to the surgery. But when she was able to get her medical records after being released and deported to Jamaica, several doctors she consulted said that her uterus was healthy, the cysts were small, and there was no need for the major surgery she was forced to undergo. Other women had similar accounts, including Spanish-speaking ex-detainees who were compelled to sign consent forms in English that they could not read. All this underscores the horror described below by Noche Diaz.

Recent claims have surfaced from a whistleblower nurse, Dawn Wooten, inside a Georgia ICE detention center (concentration camp where migrant people are held) about the conditions of migrants held there. This includes allegations of women being given hysterectomies (which is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus) without their knowledge and without an explanation as to why.1 These allegations are made in an enraging 27-page detail given by Wooten of daily life for migrant people kept in just one of these ICE concentration camps. Even the basic conditions described there stabs the heart and disturbs the conscience.

Wooten says in her complaint, "I've had several inmates tell me that they've been to see the doctor and they've had hysterectomies and they don't know why they went or why they're going." One detainee said, “When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies.” Speaking of the doctor performing these surgeries, Wooten says:

We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out... That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector. I know that’s ugly... is he collecting these things or something... Everybody he sees, he’s taking all their uteruses out or he’s taken their tubes out. What in the world.

Some of what is outlined in Wooten’s complaint regarding the hysterectomies is raised as questions, and sounding an alarm… If it comes out that what is outlined is all true, we are living through a leap in the carrying out the aims of the genocidal racists who are in power.

Genocidal racism is a core belief of the Trump/Pence fascists who now rule. Bob Avakian, in the 10-part series Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST, provides overwhelming evidence for why this is true. He says in that series:

Donald Trump hates Black people and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.

Whatever is learned about the situation described in nurse Wooten’s complaint, it is important to confront that throughout the history of this country there has been a close marriage of genocidal racism and female enslavement, specifically in the form of forced sterilization. A clear and appropriate parallel also exists in Hitler and the Nazis’ approach to dealing with the “Jewish question,” where forced sterilization was a key step in their overall genocide that resulted in six million Jews put to death. That cruelty was inspired, in great part, by examples that exist throughout the history of this country. Yes, the USA, which was founded with genocidal racism as a key and defining feature. Eugenics laws beginning in early 1900s U.S. led to the sterilization of hundreds of thousands of immigrant, Black, Native American Indian, and other women in the U.S.; and similar practices in the U.S.’s efforts to subjugate Puerto Rico in the 1930s involved sterilizing over one in three women.2

And I want to take this opportunity to point out that the genocidal racists of the Trump/Pence regime, who are overseeing ICE concentration camps (where, long before this recent complaint, horrors against migrants are well documented), are simultaneously on a vengeful mission throughout society to deny all women the right to abortion, and even to birth control. You might think there’s no way that they would seek to end abortion AND allow, or carry out, forced sterilizations—would they? Hypocrisy, you might think? NO! Forced motherhood and forced sterilization BOTH share the very consistent fundamental belief that women are not full human beings, and should not control their own bodies. In this view, it is appropriate for women of the “undesirable races” to be sterilized and prevented from reproducing, while women as a whole are stopped from terminating, or even preventing, unwanted pregnancies at the command of a male supremacist society.

Under Trump/Pence fascism, this is the grim direction of the future that, on a level we do not fully know yet, we may already be seeing the beginnings of. Unstopped, it would usher in an absolute nightmare if this Trump/Pence fascist regime is allowed to stay in power by “winning”/stealing or disregarding the election and further implementing its fascist program of genocidal racism and female enslavement.

To draw from RefuseFascism.org: It’s on: The Struggle for the Future. Will it be fascist? Or, will we act on our conscience? October 3rd We Begin Non-Violent Protests that Continue Day After Day From Now Through the Elections United by the Demand: Trump/Pence OUT NOW!


1. Project South letter, September 14, 2020.  [back]

2. See revcom.us American Crime series article “Legalized Forced Sterilization in the U.S.”; “Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States,” PBS, January 29, 2016; ICE Forced Sterilizations Claim Revives America’s Sick Eugenics Tradition, The Daily Beast, September 16, 2020.   [back]

Dawn Wooten, left, a nurse at an ICE detention center in Ocilla, GA, filed a whistle-blower complaint. Photo: Jeff Amy/AP

Read the complete series here.



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