• The class-action lawsuit filed on Monday had detailed testimonies from at least 35 women
  • According to the victims, Dr. Mahendra Amin performed medically unwanted invasive procedures on them
  • Victims who had complained about the doctor were allegedly assaulted, placed in solitary confinement and even deported
  • The alleged abuse came to light in September when a nurse noticed an alarming number of hysterectomies done by Mahendra

More than 30 women have filed a legal petition against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), alleging they were medically abused by a gynecologist while in custody.

A class-action lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia contained sworn testimonies from at least 35 detainees who claimed that they had been forced to undergo non-consensual and invasive procedures by Dr. Mahendra Amin.

The lawsuit also alleged that the women who had complained about the doctor were placed in solitary confinement, assaulted and even deported, reported Washington Post.

Dr. Mahendra Amin allegedly performed medically unwanted invasive procedures, including hysterectomies on non-consensual victims. The petition also said that in many instances, these invasive procedures had amounted to "sexual assault."

The alleged abuse came to public attention in September when Dawn Wooten, a whistle-blower nurse, filed a complaint against the doctor, whom he referred to as "the uterus collector," after noticing the alarming rate of unwanted hysterectomies done by him. However, the hospital where Amin practiced claimed that they had just two women in ICE custody who were referred for the sterilization surgeries.

Scott R. Grubman, Amin's lawyer, denied the claims of the victims. "Dr. Amin has always treated his patients, including those who were in ICE custody, with the utmost care and respect," Grubman told Washington Post.

An independent team of medical experts reviewed the medical records from 19 women who alleged mistreatment in October. In their review, they found out that there were cases of incorrect diagnosis and failure in securing informed consent before surgeries.

U.S. Customs and Immigration
A sign for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Otay Mesa Detention facility is shown in Otay Mesa, California, March 28, 2017. Reuters/Mike Blake

In the petition filed on Monday, the victims provided detailed testimonies about their harrowing experience with the doctor while in custody.

According to one of the victims, named as Jane Doe #25 in the complaint, she had menstrual problems and was hardly examined by the Gynecologist before referring her for surgery. She was sent to surgery with Amin even after repeatedly claiming in writing that she was "very afraid" because "the doctor is negligent and I don’t trust him," reported news outlet Law & Crime.

After the surgery, she was initially informed that the doctor had removed her right ovary. The doctor assured her a few weeks later that he had only removed the cysts from her ovaries and cleaned her uterus of endometriosis and she still had chances of having children. She was deported in less than two weeks and realized during follow-up care in Mexico that she had only 10% chances of successful pregnancy and more than half of her left ovary was removed.

Yanira Yesenia Oldaker, another victim, compared her experience to rape. She complained that she had been subjected to forceful transvaginal ultrasound and internal examination without her consent.

Meanwhile, Jenel Haug, another victim in the petition, described her experience as "the most medical way of being raped you could possibly experience."

Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director at Project South working on the case, condemned ICE for its inaction amid all the cases of abuse. "ICE knew about medical abuse and did not do anything," she said.

"In the context of them now trying to retaliate against people that are speaking up and trying to erase the evidence, it's really quite egregious," Shahshahani added.