Wednesday, March 22, 2006
There's Got To Be One Set Of Fair Laws For Everyone, Including You
Remember South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli? Well, he's made a new friend -- not:
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.(article by Tim Giago of The Native American Times.)
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.
Another LJ person, kathrynt, called the Office of the President and spoke with Ms. Fire Thunder herself. And got contact and donation info:
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
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 income, so do consider donating funds directly to the tribe as well as specifically for this effort.
For email contact, you can contact the president at:
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.
Once it gets that far, they may be willing to negotiate a bit on the "rape" and "incest" parts.