Of course, it’s not President George W. Bush. Rather, it’s President Cecilia Fire Thunder of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Infuriated by South Dakota’s HB 1215, which banned abortions in all situations save a direct threat to the mothers life, President Fire Thunder has pledged to open a Planned Parenthood clinic on reservation land — where it will be under tribal jurisdiction, rather than that of the Government of South Dakota.
When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.
Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape,” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”
The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.
“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “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.”
Strong words from a very strong lady. I hope Ms. Fire Thunder challenges Gov. Rounds and the state legislators on this law that is an affront to all independent women.
LiveJournaler kathrynt called the tribal offices, spoke to Ms. Fire Thunder, and got permission to post information on how to donate to the reservation to support this effort.
If you want to mail donations to the reservation, you may do so at:
Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
OR: and this may be preferred, due to mail volume:
ATTN: PRESIDENT FIRE THUNDER
PO BOX 990
Martin, SD 57751
Enclose a letter voicing your support and explaining the purpose of the donation. Bear in mind, the Pine Ridge Res is not exactly dripping with disposeable [sic] income, so do consider donating funds directly to the tribe as well as specifically for this effort.
ETA: Make checks out to OST Planned Parenthood Cecelia Fire Thunder. This will ensure that the funds get routed properly.
For email contact, you can contact the president at:
firethunder_president AT NOSPAM yahoo DOT com
cc:vbush AT NOSPAM oglala DOT org
That is Ms. Fire Thunder’s personal email address; I have received permission to post it here. For the sake of record keeping, do cc: the listed address on all correspondence; that’s her official secretary.
She was frankly kind of surprised that a white girl from Seattle was calling to express support, and even more surprised that the news had spread so far so fast. She’s likely to get deluged with screaming hate mail soon, so get your support in fast. Send email with good thoughts if you can’t send money.
ETA: Yes, please, dear God, link it anywhere and everywhere!
This makes me wish I had more disposable income to donate. Hats off to President Fire Thunder, and I hope this goes forward.