Oglala Sioux Tribe President Impeached Over Women's Health Clinic
Oglala Sioux Tribe president Cecelia Fire Thunder was impeached on Thursday for her proposal to build a women's health clinic on tribal land in South Dakota. Fire Thunder suggested the idea in May after South Dakota passed a law that bans abortion in the state, with no exception for rape, incest, or the health of the mother.
The women’s health facility Fire Thunder proposed would not have offered abortion services, but rather family planning information and contraception. Fire Thunder has said that her main concern is for victims of rape and incest within the tribe. “This idea [of a clinic] is about women’s health and as the president of this tribe, knowing the high rates of rape and incest, it is my responsibility,” she said, according to MSNBC.com.
The Tribal Council voted 9-5 to impeach Fire Thunder for engaging in political acts without council approval, according to the Associated Press. She was replaced by her vice-president, Alex White Plume.
Media Resources: MSNBC.com 6/29/06; Associated Press 6/30/06