AF3IRM National Chairperson, [email protected]
There is a war on people of the global south occurring inside the bodies of women in migrant detention centers. The mass hysterectomies being performed on the women at LaSalle Corrections facilities in Georgia are acts of mutilation, torture, and the tools of genocide.
On September 14, a complaint was filed on behalf of immigrant women—whose bodies are being invaded and looted—against the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC). Nurse Dawn Wooten, a member of the facility staff, reported disturbing negligence on behalf of LaSalle Corrections and a lack of response to Covid-19 infections, as well as a high rate of coerced hysterectomies being performed on women detainees. (One woman surviving an involuntary hysterectomy, Pauline Binam, was set for deportation yesterday until it was halted through community organizing.) The obstetrician performing these procedures, Dr. Mahendra Amin, has earned the casual distinction of “Uterus Collector” an alarming title fit for a Rob Zombie film.
These patterns of abuse are commissioned by our highly militarized state, eager to deploy the mechanisms of war on civilian people. A partnership cemented between our government and the private sector exists to serve and protect the imperialist project of private for-profit cages. The industry is heavily funded and currently emboldened by the Trump Administration, backed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Forced sterilizations are a particular form of violence against women, evolved from the basic strategies that gave rise to patriarchy under feudalism: hijacking women’s autonomy and the external management of women’s reproductive capacity.
Eugenic sterilizations as a tool of genocide were refined in the U.S. throughout the 20th century as a means of racial and ethnic “cleansing”. It was federally-funded and adopted in 32 states, resulting in over 64,000 ‘legal’ procedures across the U.S. California leads the nation in the number of forced sterilizations. As recently as 2006 through 2010, one hundred fifty sterilizations were performed on incarcerated women by the state of California.
Whether Native, Black, Im/migrant, Latina or Asian Pacific Islander, women of color have been targeted historically as objects—functioning as portals—to genocide. It is through our bodies that white supremacists, in tandem with their militarized state, have attempted to exterminate future generations of people from the global south and the legacies of our people.
The disturbing revelations of ICDC operations ground us in what we already know; the military does not provide “healthcare.” Its purpose is to enact violence.
It delivers terror, captivity, dehumanization, and anatomical theft; no matter how macabre, inhumane, and ruthless. This. On members of our families and communities. This. On people seeking safety and refuge.
AF3IRM commends the bravery and resolve of Ms. Wooten for speaking out against the barbarism essential to the business of LaSalle Corrections. Imperialists know that our interests are aligned against them, and that is why they attempt to divide us for a sliver of access to cis-het white male supremacy.
The women of color in AF3IRM know that male supremacy is a pittance. There is something far grander, something whole, in our future. That is why we unite for the interests of the working class as transnational feminists, and remain adamant in our pursuit of genuine liberation for all.
Together, we must reject and abolish the militarized state in order to dismantle industrialized patriarchal violence.
As our sisters in Hawai`i declare, “Our bodies should not be battlegrounds.” Our bodies are not for imperialist conquest! Our bodies are not Capital’s property!
In defiance of the savagery of our oppressors, we continue to defend and protect the bodies of women of color from white supremacists and their agents. To offer support and healing on our path to liberation.
We must win a feminist future!