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Fire Thunder creates stir with abortion law comments

Cecilia Fire Thunder, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has created a buzz among pro-choice groups for her comments on the state of South Dakota's extremely restrictive abortion law.

Fire Thunder told columnist Tim Giago that the state has no right to tell women what to do with their bodies. She said she would open a Planned Parenthood clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation in order to ensure women have the right to exercise their choices.

�To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,� she told Giago in a column he published earlier this week.

The column was picked up by several pro-choice groups, who have pledged financial and other support for Fire Thunder's plan. "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," one blogger said [Link].

The new state law, which faces legal challenges, bars all abortions except to save a woman's life. State attorney general Larry Long, who has fought tribes on sovereignty issues, claims the state could theoretically enforce the law in Indian Country, but only against non-Indian women who receive abortions by non-Indian doctors.

Get the Story:
South Dakota's abortion ban has sweeping implications (Indian Country Today 3/24)
Oglala Sioux president mulls opening Planned Parenthood clinic (The Rapid City Weekly 3/21)

Relevant Links:
Oglala Sioux Tribe -

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