ACOG CEO Dr. Maureen Phipps this week wrote a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security urging a swift and thorough investigation of complaints filed by a whistleblower alleging high rates of hysterectomy procedures on detained persons held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, as well as unsafe and unsanitary conditions and denial of access to medical care.
ACOG opposes the unethical practice of reproductive coercion in any form and acknowledges the history in the United States, including the recent past, of the unethical practice of coerced or forced sterilization procedures performed on individuals without their consent. Communities of color and incarcerated individuals have been disproportionately impacted by these breeches.
In the letter Dr. Phipps quotes directly from Committee Opinion 695, Sterilization of Women: Ethical Issues and Considerations, which clearly states that coercive or forcible sterilization practices are unethical and should never be performed:
Dr. Phipps offered ACOG as a resource for evidence-based information about the provision of ethical clinical care, and shared ACOG’s clinical guidance documents, including Committee Opinion 695, to help inform the investigation.
The concerns alleged in the complaint are alarming and ACOG continues to closely monitor this issue. Follow @ACOGAction on Twitter for the latest updates on this and other ACOG advocacy activities.