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
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .