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Statement from Brittany Fonteno, Chief External Affairs Officer, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

“America has a tortured, centuries-long history of exerting the oppressive power of the government and other institutions to control people’s bodies and strip away the human right to make their own reproductive decisions — with Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color the most frequent targets. Reports of forced hysterectomies — irreversible procedures that will forever destroy a person’s ability to become pregnant — at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Georgia are horrifying and unconscionable; a deeply painful reminder that the violent consequences of white supremacy, xenophobia, and systemic racism are at work every day. We are a long way from achieving reproductive freedom.

“Until everyone can exercise the basic right to control what happens to their body, no one in America is truly free. We condemn forced and coerced sterilizations and stand with immigrant communities to strongly oppose any attempt by ICE to deny people their humanity. We call for the immediate end of this practice in prisons and detention centers and join our partners in fighting to protect the right to bodily autonomy for all people. No one — including the U.S. government — should be allowed to take these freedoms away.”