Statement on Violations to Reproductive Rights in ICE Detention

The Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative condemns the actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement performing hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures at its detention center in Georgia.

 The right to reproduce is a human right and should never be taken away. Immigrant women should not have to lose their reproductive capacity simply because they are seeking a better life in America. The partner organizations that comprise the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative stand against any further harm to the reproductive health of immigrant women in ICE detention. 

  This is not the first time involuntary, forced or non consensual sterilization has occurred in our nation’s history, but it must be the last. This practice is intolerable. People in power are taking advantage of women in a vulnerable situation. They are vulnerable because of their race and ethnicity, and because they are incarcerated (although not convicted of any crimes) while seeking a better life for themselves. These women are crossing the border because their lives are at risk in their home countries, but while they are in the custody of the U.S. government, the government must protect their fundamental human rights and not subject them to unwanted, involuntary and irreversible medical procedures. 

  The right to decide whether and when to bear children is a human right. All women—regardless of age, legal status, marital status, race, ethnicity and religion—should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies.