South Dakota Indian Tribe Bans Abortions, Pro-Abortion Prez Suspended

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 31, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Indian Tribe Bans Abortions, Pro-Abortion Prez Suspended Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 31, 2006

Pine Ridge, SD ( — The Oglala Sioux tribal council has voted to ban all abortions on their reservation after the council president created a national controversy saying she would thwart a state ban on abortions by building an abortion business in tribal lands.

The vote to prohibits abortions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was unanimous, 16-0, with two members of the tribal council absent.

The council also voted overwhelningly to suspend its president, Cecilia Fire Thunder, without pay saying she accepted unauthorized donations for the abortion center without getting the council’s approval

"It was unauthorized political activity," Will Peters, a member of the tribal council, told the Argus Leader newspaper.

"It’s just a matter of failing to communicate not only with the governing body but with the people that she was elected to serve," he added.

Peters put forward a motion to suspend Fire Thunder indefinitely and the council voted against the motion. He offered a second motion to suspend her for 20 days pending an impeachment hearing and the council approved it.

Fire Thunder told the newspaper the vote was "an ambush" and claimed she had never solicited donations for a fund to build the abortion facility. She said members of the council never asked her if she had solicited any funds.

However, she previously told Indian Country Today that she already had a name for the abortion center, Sacred Choices Clinic, and had raised $5,000 from pro-abortion activists across the country. She had put together a group of volunteers and obtained help from attorneys to move ahead with the abortion business.

Fire Thunder also claimed that she never said the facility would do abortions but rather provide women with information about family planning.

Peters called that disingenuous and said, "Her stand, by what we read and what we hear from all accounts, was to support abortion. I’ve never seen such a turn-around."

Peters told the Argus Leader that any money Fire Thunder raised for the abortion center would be returned.

However, some women who are helping Fire Thunder build the abortion center are moving ahead regardless of the council’s actions.

Betty Bull Bear, one of the women who has formed a board of directors for the abortion facility, said the group will meet tonight to put together incorporation papers. She said the Sacred Choices Clinic will be a health and wellness center until the fate of the state’s abortion ban is decided.

State voters will likely head to the polls in November to decide whether to keep or overturn the law.

Bear said the clinic will be located in Kyle, South Dakota and that Fire Thunder will not be a part of the board of directors for it.

Fire Thunder is a longtime abortion advocate and formerly worked at an abortion business in California. She’s on the steering committee of the pro-abortion group hoping to defeat the ban at the polls.

She was also suspended in October on an unrelated matter when she secured a multi-million dollar loan for the tribe without the council’s approval.

TAKE ACTION: Voice your thoughts on the abortion business to: Oglala Sioux Tribe, ATTN: President Fire Thunder, P. O. Box H, Pine Ridge, SD 57770. You can also call 605-867-6074 or fax a letter to 605-867-6076.

Related web sites:
Oglala Sioux Tribe –