Whistleblower Claims Medical Neglect and High Rate of Hysterectomies at ICE Facility; Coverage Differs

Headline Roundup September 15th, 2020

A new whistleblower complaint claims that officials at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility refused to test detainees for COVID-19, shredded medical documents, and oversaw an unusually high number of hysterectomies. A hysterectomy is a procedure where a woman’s uterus is removed, sterilizing her. The complaint comes primarily from Dawn Wooten, a nurse who formerly worked at the facility. An ICE spokesperson said that while “ICE takes all allegations seriously and defers to the [Inspector General],” “anonymous, unproven allegations...should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve.”

As of Tuesday, the whistleblower complaint received relatively more coverage in left-rated outlets than right-rated outlets. Coverage in right-rated outlets tended to focus on Democratic politicians' response to the allegations. Coverage in some left- and center-rated outlets focused solely on the alleged medical neglect or the alleged hysterectomies. Some of this coverage also linked the story to historical examples of forced sterilization in the U.S.Editor's Note: Updated 9/15/2020 at 4:30 p.m. ET to include new coverage from right-rated sources.

Whistleblower Claims Medical Neglect and High Rate of Hysterectomies at ICE Facility; Coverage Differs

From the Right
317

Top Democrats demanded answers Tuesday after a whistleblower nurse filed a complaint claiming that an immigration detention center was performing an exceptional number of hysterectomies on migrant women.

Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse, said the rate of the procedure at the Georgia facility was a red flag, said one particular gynecologist was at the center of the operations, and said some of the women didn’t understand why they were getting it.

She called the doctor “the uterus collector.”

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From the Left
317

A whistleblower complaint filed Monday by several legal advocacy groups accuses a detention center of performing a staggering number of hysterectomies on immigrant women, as well as failing to follow procedures meant to keep both detainees and employees safe from the coronavirus.

The complaint, filed on behalf of several detained immigrants and a nurse named Dawn Wooten, details several accounts of recent “jarring medical neglect” at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, which is run by the private prison company LaSalle South Corrections and houses people incarcerated by...

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From the Center
317

A nurse at a Georgia Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility is accusing the detention center of allowing an unusual number of hysterectomies to be performed on immigrants detained there, often without their consent.

In a whistleblower complaint sent by Project South to the Department of Homeland Security and its inspector general, a nurse named Dawn Wooten described poor treatment of migrants detained at the Irwin County Detention Center, including limited and negligent medical care and minimal testing for COVID-19.

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