Creative Destruction

June 2, 2006

Ogala Sioux Ban Abortion, Suspend Chief

Filed under: Current Events,Feminist Issues — Robert @ 9:58 pm

You may remember the story of Cecelia Fire Thunder, chief of the Ogala Sioux who responded to South Dakota's abortion ban by promising to build an abortion clinic on Sioux land in South Dakota. The tribal council has responded by banning abortion on Sioux land, and by suspending Fire Thunder for soliciting donations without consulting the council; Fire Thunder denies that she solicited donations.

This isn't the first clash between Chief Fire Thunder and the tribal council; in 2005 she was suspended for just over two months for pursuing a business deal without consulting the council. Hat tip to Ginmar, who attributes the move to "sexism"; I would imagine that having been the subject of genocide might make a group a little bit focused on keeping the generational train on the tracks.

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10 Comments »

  1. Suspending Fire Thunder has nothing to do with sexism; it had to do with the fact that her policies and actions no longer represented the people of the Oglala Sioux.

    Taken from an article by Jill Stanek originally published at World Net Daily……

    Link

    Now, Oglala tribe member William Birdnecklace has filed impeachment charges against Fire Thunder, with an injunction to stop her from annihilating her people via abortion.

    This is based on tribal law that states:

    A child conceived, but not born, is to be deemed an existing person so far as may be necessary for its interests and welfare to be protected in the event of its subsequent birth.

    Fire Thunder seems to attract impeachment charges. This is her third since being elected less than two years ago.

    Charges against Fire Thunder included, interestingly, failure to pay tribal Head Start bills.

    She was also accused of embezzlement, fraud, perjury, threats of bodily harm, and trespassing.

    The most serious charge was that Fire Thunder pawned tribal land to secure a $38 million loan from another tribe.

    But all charges were dismissed without a hearing by a tribal council that included a convicted felon who was also named in the complaint.

    Speaking of embezzlement, Fire Thunder is accepting donations for her abortion clinic at her personal post office box in Martin, S.D. Checks can be made out to “OST Planned Parenthood Cecelia Fire Thunder,” even though Planned Parenthood apparently isn’t participating.

    To their credit, liberal bloggers who initially greeted Fire Thunder’s plan with bloodthirsty whoops have since curbed their enthusiasm after researching her history.

    Fire Thunder worsened her previous troubles by showing disrespect to her elders.

    During an interview on KILI radio, Fire Thunder declared: “I want to know what the hell are you doing meddling in politics?” in response to their questions about using tribal land as a loan guarantee.

    Comment by SBW — June 2, 2006 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  2. “Keeping the generational train on the tracks” is an interesting euphemism for “enforced pregnancy”.

    Comment by mythago — June 2, 2006 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  3. There are interesting euphemisms for your abortion language, too. But that’s not really a fruitful avenue of discussion.

    Pro-choice individuals always say “enforced pregnancy”. Yes, a ban (or very tight stricture) on abortions is “enforced pregnancy”. It is a restriction on people’s freedom of action.

    We restrict our actions (and jointly restrict others’ actions, in a variety of combinations) all the time. It’s a necessary part of being civilized beings. You may believe that a particular restriction is too confining or unfair, but to argue against it on the basis of it just being a stricture is disingenuous.

    To take the case more broadly against your ilk (God love them and you both), “Keep your laws off my body” is an ironic slogan coming from people who (say) broadly believe in smoking bans, laws against selling your own organs, the power of the FDA to ban and regulate drugs, and so forth.

    Comment by Robert — June 3, 2006 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  4. A child conceived, but not born, is to be deemed an existing person so far as may be necessary for its interests and welfare to be protected in the event of its subsequent birth.

    I read that as permitting abortion, which eliminates the “event” upon which the unborn child’s status as an existing person is conditioned.

    Comment by Daran — June 3, 2006 @ 3:48 am | Reply

  5. I read that as Daran does. If the intent was to ban abortion, then none of the language after the word “person” would have been needed.

    Comment by Ampersand — June 3, 2006 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  6. but to argue against it on the basis of it just being a stricture is disingenuous

    It would be, if that’s what I were arguing. I was just raising an eyebrow at your implication that voluntary abortion is a form of genocide.

    I’m rather surprised that your ilk like this ban–it permits abortion only to save the mother’s life, correct?–as it is more strict that laws regarding self-defense in the case of born persons. Next thing you know, some slick defense attorney will say that a crime victim who killed his attacker is guilty of homicide. After all, the victim was only in fear of great bodily harm, not death.

    Comment by mythago — June 3, 2006 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  7. Daran said: I read that as permitting abortion, which eliminates the “event” upon which the unborn child’s status as an existing person is conditioned.

    Cecilia Fire Thunder apparently read it that way too and the tribal council disagreed. To clear up any further misinterpretations they simply banned all abortions on the reservation outright.

    Comment by SBW — June 3, 2006 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  8. And it takes some time to perform an abortion. Up until the abortion is completed, there is still a possibility of an eventual birth (ie, the woman could have a change of heart and push away the forcepts, push away the pills, etc, the doctor could get called away for a family emergency, a thunderstorm could knock the power out, etc) So the doctor couldn’t begin the abortion, the woman couldn’t even agree to start one, since it’s possible completion is a direct attack on the person that still might be born. Eh?

    Comment by John Howard — June 3, 2006 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  9. Hat tip to Ginmar, who attributes the move to “sexism”; I would imagine that having been the subject of genocide might make a group a little bit focused on keeping the generational train on the tracks.

    Well, one could say that banning abortion out of the fear that there will be a genocide on the next generation is wee bit sexist, so I fear this is a false dichotomy.

    Comment by Tuomas — June 4, 2006 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  10. I would imagine that having been the subject of genocide might make a group a little bit focused on keeping the generational train on the tracks.

    I know that this true for some groups, e.g. the Haredim. I can understand that they feel this way, but I doubt that ‘strength in numbers’ is really the most pressing issue for Native Americans. They might also want to focus on preserving the dignity and culture of their people since so much has been lost already. It might make them focused on preventing the birth of babies who are malnourished or ill from the start and unlikely to be cared for properly because of the high levels of poverty and absence of medical facilities on reservations. (President Fire Thunder, as a former nurse, is well aware of this.) It might make them realise that women deserve full equality: to run for president, to develop their own ideas and solutions to problems, to decide whether or not they want to give birth to and care for children. If a woman, in addition to the poverty and discrimination the men of her tribe face, is also likely to be denied access to contraceptives, get raped, have no choice but to give birth, and spend the rest of her life struggling to feed her children and grandchildren, she is at a great disadvantage.
    I would dearly love to see more support for poor women who decide to carry their pregnancy to term but until then, sometimes the only choice is between abortion and abject poverty. If these women can’t choose abortion and nothing else changes, it will probably just result in more poverty.

    Comment by Jeefie — June 5, 2006 @ 5:13 am | Reply


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