172 Members of Congress Introduce House Resolution Condemning Forced Unnecessary Medical Procedures—Including Hysterectomies—Performed on Women in Irwin County, Georgia
WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Representatives Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), and Lois Frankel (FL-21) led 172 members of Congress in introducing a House Resolution today that urgently responds to numerous reports of unnecessary medical procedures—including hysterectomies—being performed on immigrant women without their consent at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.
“An initial review of available medical records by independent gynecologists raises serious questions about whether patients detained at the Irwin County Detention Center were provided informed consent and whether the facility adhered to prevailing standards of care,” the lawmakers said in their resolution. “These allegations indicate a failure by ICE to conduct rigorous oversight to protect the health and safety of people in its custody.”
The resolution condemns performing unwanted and unnecessary medical procedures without the full, informed consent of individuals. It also recognizes that everyone deserves to control their own reproductive choices and make informed choices about their bodies. Additionally, the resolution says that further accountability, oversight, and transparency are necessary to protect people in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Today’s resolution also calls on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take a series of specific actions. This includes pausing the removal of any individual who experienced any medical procedure at the Irwin County Detention Center and allowing individuals who may have experienced an unnecessary or non-consensual procedure to have immediate access to adequate, safe, and consensual medical treatment. Additionally, it calls on DHS to immediately comply with all investigations and records requests related to investigations while ensuring affected individuals are able to freely participate in any investigation without fear of reprisal. Finally, the resolution demands that DHS hold all individuals involved in these incidents accountable and bring them to justice.
The full resolution is available here.
The House Resolution is co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Sylvia Garcia, Pramila Jayapal, Ann McLane Kuster, Sheila Jackson Lee, Lois Frankel, Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Pete Aguilar, Cindy Axne, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Karen Bass, Joyce Beatty, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Suzanne Bonamici, Brendan F. Boyle, Anthony G. Brown, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, André Carson, Matt Cartwright, Joaquin Castro, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Katherine Clark, Yvette D. Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, II, James E. Clyburn, Steve Cohen, Gerald E. Connolly, Jim Cooper, J. Luis Correa, TJ Cox, Charlie Crist, Jason Crow, Henry Cuellar, Sharice Davids, Danny K. Davis, Susan A. Davis, Madeleine Dean, Diana DeGette, Rosa L. DeLauro, Suzan K. DelBene, Mark DeSaulnier, Ted Deutch, Debbie Dingell, LLoyd Doggett, Mike Doyle, Eliot L. Engel, Veronica Escobar, Anna G. Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Lizzie Fletcher, Bill Foster, Maria L. Fudge, Ruben Gallego, Jesús G. "Chuy" García, Jimmy Gomez, Vicente Gonzalez, Al Green, Raúl M. Grijalva, Deb Haaland, Alcee L. Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Denny Heck, Brian Higgins, Chrissy Houlahan, Jared Huffman, Hakeem Jeffries, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Marcy Kaptur, William R. Keating, Robin Kelly, Joe Kennedy, Ro Khanna, Daniel T. Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Andy Kim, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Rick Larsen, John B. Larson, Brenda L. Lawrence, Barbara Lee, Andy Levin, Mike Levin, Ted W. Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Nita M. Lowey, Ben Ray Luján, Elaine Luria, Tom Malinowski, Carolyn B. Maloney, Doris Matsui, Lucy McBath, Betty McCollum, A. Donald McEachin, James P. McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Joseph D. Morelle, Seth Moulton, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Joe Neguse, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Ed Perlmutter, Scott Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, David E. Price, Jamie Raskin, Max Rose, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Bobby L. Rush, Tim Ryan, Linda T. Sánchez, John P. Sarbanes, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Adam B. Schiff, Kim Schrier, M.D., Bobby Scott, Terri A. Sewell, Donna E. Shalala, Brad Sherman, Mikie Sherrill, Albio Sires, Elissa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Haley Stevens, Jackie Speier, Thomas R. Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Norma J. Torres, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Juan Vargas, Marc Veasey, Filemon Vela, Nydia M. Velázquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter Welch, Susan Wild, Frederica Wilson and John Yarmuth.
The House Resolution was also endorsed by nearly 50 organizations including the AFL-CIO; African Communities Together; Alianza Nacional de Campesinas; American Friends Service Committee; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC; Asian Pacific Institute on Gender- Based Violence; Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities; Center for Gender & Refugee Studies; Center for Victims of Torture; Church World Service; Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces; Freedom for Immigrants; Human Rights First; In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda; Jewish Women International; Justice for Migrant Women; MoveOn; NARAL; National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF); National Council of Jewish Women; National Immigration Law Center; NETWORK lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Oxfam America; Project On Government Oversight; Project South; Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC); SPLC Action Fund; Tahirih Justice Center; T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; UnidosUS; Women's Refugee Commission; Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Atlanta; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Georgia Detention Watch; Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR); Illinois Accountability Initiative; Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence; KhAAG; Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence; National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) Seattle Chapter; OneAmerica; Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center.
Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent the Texas 29th Congressional District. She serves on the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees.