<\body> Stories in America: The Power of Thunder

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Power of Thunder

My recent interview with Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Oglala Sioux tribe in South Dakota, ran today on AlterNet.org. President Fire Thunder recently announced plans to open a clinic on her reservation to provide abortion, birth control and basic health services.

The Power of Thunder
Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the South Dakota Ogala Sioux, takes on the state's repressive new abortion ban.

Just two weeks after South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed the state's extreme abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest, Cecilia Fire Thunder, the first woman president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, made national headlines after saying she would personally set up a clinic on her tribe's land in South Dakota to preserve a woman's right to choose. There is currently only one clinic in the entire state of South Dakota that provides abortions, and its status, since the ban, is endangered.

President Fire Thunder's decision to take the lead on this issue is nothing short of remarkable considering the number of challenges on the reservation. Almost half of all Native American women in South Dakota are poor, compared with approximately 10 percent of white women, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research report on the Status of Women in South Dakota. Median annual earnings for women in South Dakota rank last in the nation. Furthermore, the unemployment rate on the reservation is 85 percent and the life expectancy rate is 46 for men and 55 for women.

I just got word that the new clinic will be called the Sacred Choices Clinic.

Send donations to:
Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770


At 4/04/2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We are all victims of rape.

Thank you for your work.

At 4/04/2006 11:57 AM, Anonymous prochoice mom said...

Imagine if the entire country was run by people with such passion.

At 4/04/2006 12:43 PM, Anonymous judytree said...

Fire Thunder is an inspiration to us all. Please contribute to the clinic and let's make it a reality.

At 4/04/2006 4:47 PM, Anonymous boo visitor said...

I just found this on Booman and had to share. It was posted by Damnit Janet. I second her strong words:

Wow. Just wow! I am just amazed by you.
I was thinking of you last night and your diary adds to what I was thinking about.

Today, more so, all over the world - the world isn't safe for women and children.

Not only are we not safe from rapists, but now it's harder to find a safe place to heal after a rape. A safe place to go for help and care.

Regardless... we are in a victim circle of rape and denial of rights.

So glad that the tribe is taking steps to ensure the safety of women seeking treatment, counseling and choice.

(((((((Rose))))))))) my daughter and my daughter's daughters are safer because of people like you and the work you find, support and report on.

At 4/04/2006 9:04 PM, Anonymous brachiator said...

Thanks for the information on how to make donations! I just read your piece on Alternet and came over to see if there was more info. Ultimately, the clinic should probably set up a website allowing for online donations. The response would probably be astounding, as one of the ways to stick it back to the women-as-breeding-sow thugs.


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