jayapal bill

File photo of Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing July 29, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)

The United States House of Representatives Oct. 2 announced it has passed a Rep. Pramila Jayapal-led resolution urgently condemning the unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures — including partial and full hysterectomies — performed on immigrant women without their full, informed consent at the private, for-profit Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.

H. Res. 1153, co-sponsored by 225 members of Congress and led by U.S. Reps. Jayapal, Annie Kuster, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia and Lois Frankel, also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to take a series of specific actions including immediately complying with all related investigations. 

“This resolution mandates a real investigation must happen but it also sends a clear message to doctors contracted by private, for-profit incarceration facilities everywhere that we will not stand by and allow you to treat people this way,” said Jayapal in a statement.

“We will not stand by and allow history to repeat itself—a shameful history of medical abuse targeting Black people, indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, poor people and people with disabilities,” the Indian American representative said. “The women at Irwin, those who have been released and those who have been deported, are brave and resilient, and I want them to know that the United States Congress sees you, hears you and will never stop fighting for you.”

The resolution passed less than one week after members of the House Judiciary Committee and Congressional Hispanic Caucus led a congressional delegation to the Irwin County Detention Center.

It was there that they heard firsthand from numerous women who had unnecessary gynecological procedures—including surgeries involving their reproductive organs— allegedly performed on them by Dr. Mahendra Amin without their knowledge or consent. Many of the procedures resulted in sterilization.

It also comes just one week after lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf calling on him to urgently take specified actions and immediately respond to a set of pressing document requests. Additionally, 173 members of Congress urged DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to open an immediate and full investigation in mid-September, the release notes.

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