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Photo: The Intercept
Following a whistleblower, House of Rep and Hispanic Caucus present resolution Photo: The Intercept

The House condemns Irwin Detention Center’s unwanted medical procedures

One-hundred and seventy-two members of the House introduced a resolution in the aftermath of the whistleblower reports at the detention center in Georgia.

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On Oct. 2, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the mass hysterectomies reported at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia reported on Sept. 14

The move comes a week after the House Judiciary Committee and Hispanic Caucus investigated the center. 

What happened at Irwin County is just a peek into the United States’ past of sterilization on vulnerable populations. 

The further instances described in the resolution are a chapter from that dark, unwritten history book that America chooses to ignore.

The U.S. has practiced the unwanted procedures found at Irwin on Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants, poor people, and people with disabilities without their consent for over a century. 

In 32 states, there are eugenic-sterilization laws that have resulted in roughly 60,000 people getting sterilized in the last 120 years. 

Twenty-five percent of Native American women who were of childbearing age, were also subject to sterilization for six years after the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act was passed in 1970.

From 2006-2010, almost 150 incarcerated women also faced sterilization procedures in California.

Since the most recent sterilization effort at Irwin, women at the detention center have come forward to share their stories of hysterectomies being performed without consent and without their knowledge. 

In addition to condemning the procedures, the House of Representatives recognized that everyone deserves to make their own decisions with their body whether they are in custody or not. 

The resolution also recognized that more transparency and accountability is needed, not because it needs to be stated under law, but because it is what is right. 

Additionally, they called on the Department of Homeland Security to halt moving any person who underwent a medical procedure at Irwin County Detention center and grant them immediate access to medical treatment and a second opinion from a professional outside of the center.

Lastly, they asked for the Irwin County Detention Center to immediately comply with the investigation requests, ensure those impacted by these procedures be able to share their story without fear of retaliation, and to hold those involved accountable, seeing justice brought to the victims involved. 

The document offers history that has yet to be addressed, and suggestions, but there is nothing far beyond that. It’s only words, and those will only go so far against an agency run by an administration hell-bent on attacking immigrants from day one.

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