Thursday, March 23, 2006

Native American resistance (updated)

Cecilia Fire Thunder, the new president of the Oglala Sioux tribe of South Dakota has responded forcefully to the recent South Dakota ban on almost all abortions:
"I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."
Fire Thunder, the first woman president of the tribe, is a former nurse and healthcare giver who recently defeated Russell Means for the leadership position in a victory widely attributed to the growing power of women on the Pine Ridge Reservation (via feministing). She said on Tuesday that she favors opening a clinic that would be open for all women, native and non-native: "Nobody has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body.”

Planned Parenthood does not have plans to open another clinic in South Dakota just yet, and is committed to fighting the abortion ban in the courts. but it has expressed gratitude for her offer.

If such a thing does transpire, I suspect that there will be counterattacks from within and without. The anti-choice forces have noticed and begun to respond, mentioning a recently formed California based organization called Indians for Life that is working closely with the Outreach Department of National Right to Life Committee and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. And South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long is claiming that the tribal soverignty may not entirely exempt the reservation from the sweeping new anti-abortion law.

There is an extensive ongoing discussion of some of the issues involved here.


At 3/23/2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Comandante Agí said...

That's great that Fire Thunder is exercising her rights in that manner. Unfortunately our president doesn't quite understand tribal sovereignty.

At 3/23/2006 8:46 PM, Blogger velid said...

Hey Agi,

W has something ignorant to say about nearly everything, doesn't he.

At 3/24/2006 6:09 AM, Blogger Comandante Agí said...

Yep. At least he is consistent in that way.


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