CNA Staff, Sep 23, 2020 / 10:01 am
Mexico is investigating reports that at least six of its nationals were among women in US immigration custody on whom hysterectomies were allegedly performed without their full consent, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday.
“We are already in contact with six of whom could potentially have been subjected to this procedure,” Marcelo Ebrard said at a Sept. 22 press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
He said, “It's something unacceptable”, and added that “if confirmed, it's a major issue and should not only be sactioned, but other measures taken as well.”
Last week The Intercept reported a whistleblower complaint had been filed by several advocacy groups on behalf of a nurse at a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center for migrants in Georgia.
The nurse, Dawn Wooten, as well as several immigrant women, claimed that an apparently high rate of hysterectomies were performed on immigrant women while in ICE custody at Irwin County Detention Center, and that some of the women did not understand the procedure they were receiving.
According to the whistleblower complaint, the immigrant women were referred to one doctor in particular who was allegedly known for performing frequent hysterectomies; Wooten called the doctor “the uterus collector.” Wooten reported that some nurses could not communicate well with Spanish-speaking migrants,
One immigrant told the activist group Project South that during a two-month period, she met five other women at the prison who had received hysterectomies, and who “reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.”
Wooten agreed with accounts from detainees who said they had undergone hysterectomies without fully understanding what was happening.