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Council Bans Anyone Attempting to Get an Abortion from Reservation

I just read this article, which makes the situation even worse. Apparently before the council impeached Fire Thunder they also passed a ban that "contains a provision to banish from the reservation anyone who considers getting an abortion or helps someone else obtain one."

The article continues:

"Then the council turned to Fire Thunder. In a 14-to-1 vote, the council of 18, mostly men, suspended her, pending an impeachment hearing.

Peters, as reported by the newspaper Indian Country Today, thanked those who may have been conceived as a result of rape for attending the meeting. Later, in an interview for Women's eNews, he called for a forum where tribal members could discuss the merits of abortion.

But [Charon] Asetoyer said such a public debate is in complete opposition to the traditional practice of tribal women.
'These matters are not up for scrutiny by our male counterparts,' she said. 'This is a discussion for women to have in privacy of other women. Whoever calls for public debates has been totally converted to a colonial way of thinking.'"

I should note that Charon Asetoyer is an Oklahoma Indian married to a member of my dad's tribe, the Yankton Sioux and runs the Native American Women's Health and Education Resource Center (NAWHERC) on our reservation that has done an excellent job helping women, both in the terms of health education and in job retraining.

The council's ban is a poor response to a State law that does not allow abortions even in the case of rape and incest. Especially when you consider the fact that American Indian women are three times more likely to be the victims of rape than other American women according to U.S. Justice department.
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