US society talks a good game about the sacredness of motherhood, but there’s a long history in this country of seeing certain women’s fertility as a threat. The women who don’t need to be having any more children because they’re too poor or too disabled or too melanated or just not “us”. The children who will be welfare dependents or “idiots” or criminals or “anchor babies”.
That’s why the news that women in ICE custody have had hysterectomies performed on them against their will, though shocking, wasn’t surprising.
We don’t yet know the full details of what happened. It appears that the doctor who performed the hysterectomies may have been committing insurance fraud. It’s also possible, even likely, that some of them had real uterine health conditions. Either way, had the people given power over these women perceived their fertility to have any value, they would have been treated differently. They would have been informed of their condition, if any, and given treatment options.
But these were just immigrant women, “illegals,” whom the president and his supporters have decided this country doesn’t need any more of. Some people solve that problem with a wall; others, with a scalpel.