Support Pro-Choice SD Oglala Sioux President
Cecilia Fire Thunder, the president of the Oglala Sioux in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, is making waves over her recent comments about her state's abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest. "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," she said in an interview with the Native American Times.
Considering the fact that Pine Ridge is dealing with extreme poverty, it's pretty amazing that President Fire Thunder is speaking out on this issue.
At Pine Ridge, two and three families sharing a house is common, according to Rhonda Two Eagle, Oglala Sioux Tribe secretary. A 2004 report on Oglala Sioux Tribe housing prepared by the University of Illinois Building Research Council found an average of 2.6 people per bedroom. "Nearly all the major and minor problems mentioned in the report are amplified by increased overcrowding," the report says. In one home, the researchers found 14 people sharing three bedrooms. Seven of them were being treated for asthma.
Pine Ridge's unemployment rate is estimated to be between 60 and 80 percent -- and it's been that way for as long as anyone can remember, reports CSIndy. The closest the rest of the country has ever gotten was 25 percent unemployment, during the Great Depression. The average life expectancy on the reservation is lower than Bangladesh -- 48 for men and 52 for women.
This reservation clearly has very few resources and would greatly appreciate a donation. Make checks out to OST Planned Parenthood Cecelia Fire Thunder:
Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770