CALIFORNIA – Jodi Hicks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, issued the following statement on behalf of the seven Planned Parenthood California affiliates in response to the harrowing reports of forced hysterectomies at the Irwin County ICE Detention Center in Georgia:
“The reports of immigrant women being subjected to forced and coerced hysterectomies while in ICE detention centers is a brazen violation of human rights. The right to bodily autonomy and reproductive decision-making does not end at the gates of ICE detention centers, and the ability to live free from coercion and prosecution should not be dictated by immigration status.
“Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California has signed onto SisterSong’s call to action as a way not only to speak up and out against this latest atrocity, but also to ‘…make a commitment to dismantle and rebuild every system that causes harm to our bodies, our families, and our communities.’ And we call on Planned Parenthood supporters and California’s leadership to join us in signing on.
“In a year of reckoning with our nation’s history of systemic racism, largely prompted by acts of inhumane and violent policing of Black bodies, we cannot ignore the dark and disturbing history of sterilization both within the United States and California. Hearing of forced sterilization is disturbingly not new in this state. Tens of thousands of people have been forcibly sterilized under California’s long, dehumanizing history of using hysterectomies as a form of racial and gender oppression, leading to debilitating on-going health problems and trauma.
“Preventing women, particularly immigrant women, Black women, and women of color, from having full autonomy over their bodies and reproductive futures is white supremacy in action. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, on behalf of all Planned Parenthood affiliates within the state, is committed to working with our partners, like SisterSong and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, to immediately stop this practice, not just in detention centers, but also in the prison system and globally, where these atrocities continue.”
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.