Forced Hysterectomies Allegedly Occurring in ICE Detention Facility

Angelina Astic, Copy Editor

According to a whistleblower, a large number of unwanted hysterectomies and instances of medical negligence are occuring at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Facility in Georgia. 

The whistleblower, Dawn Wooten, is a licensed nurse who worked at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia (ICDC), the center in question. She filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general and is being represented by the Government Accountability Project and Project South. 

According to the complaint, released by the Government Accountability Project and Project South, Wooten details alleged medical neglect, destruction of medical requests submitted by detainees, fabricated medical records, refusal to test immigrants for COVID-19 who have produced symptoms and a high rate of unwanted hysterectomies performed on women in ICE custody at ICDC. 

“I’ve had several inmates tell me that they’ve been to see the doctor and they’ve had hysterectomies,” Wooten said. “They don’t know why they went or why they’re going.”

A team of lawyers cited by NBC News have identified the doctor mentioned above as Dr. Mahendra Amin. Amin is not a board-certified Obstetrician Gynecologist (OB-GYN), according to a spokesperson for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The American Board of Medical Specialties also stated that Amin is not certified by the 24 member boards. 

“We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out,” Wooten said. “That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector.”

Court records, obtained by Anchorage Daily News, show that Amin has settled lawsuits with former patients and their families. In one instance, Amin allegedly discharged a pregnant patient when test results indicated abnormalities. Later, the patient revisited the hospital with bleeding, contractions and high blood pressure and underwent an emergency cesarean section; she died after the procedure. 

Wooten alleges other instances of neglect, concerned with the increasing number of hysterectomies performed at the ICE facility, specifically by Amin.

“Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody. He’s even taken out the wrong ovary on a young lady [detained immigrant woman],” Wooten said. “She still wanted children — so she has to go back home now and tell her husband that she can’t bear kids… she said she was not all the way out under anesthesia and hear him [doctor] tell the nurse that he took out the wrong ovary.”

Amin’s attorney, Scott Grubman, issued a statement to The Washington Post following the allegation of medical neglect. 

“Dr. Amin is a highly respected physician who has dedicated his adult life to treating a high-risk, underserved population in rural Georgia,” Grubman said. “We look forward to all of the facts coming out and are confident that, once they do, Dr. Amin will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”