by Steven Ertelt
June 15, 2006
Pine Ridge, SD (LifeNews.com) — A South Dakota Indian tribe that voted to prohibit abortions on its reservation and suspend its council president over her efforts to build an abortion business there does not want her to speak to the media. Oglala Sioux Tribe President Cecelia Fire Thunder is fighting their efforts to silence her.
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council suspended Fire Thunder last month and is considering a bid to impeach her for raising funds for the abortion facility on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation without council permission.
In its suspension notice it sent to Fire Thunder, the council directed her to not speak to the media.
"That’s a violation of my constitutional rights," she complained in an interview with the Rapid City Journal newspaper.
Fire Thunder said the council’s decision to prohibit abortions on the reservation “should end the discussion” over her proposal, but she’s incensed that the council doesn’t want her to speak to the media.
Tribal councilman Will Peters said “massive national attention" led to Fire Thunder’s suspension and told the Journal, “Abortion is what got this ball rolling, and she used the media."
Fire Thunder came under strong criticism from members of the Indian tribe when she proposed building an abortion business on the reservation in response to a new state law banning virtually all abortions. The abortion facility would fall under national law in part and abortions would likely be legal there as long as the abortion practitioner was a Native American.
Though the tribe prohibited abortions, Fire Thunder says plans for the Sacred Circle Clinic are moving forward, though now it will likely only provide birth control and counseling services.
“We ARE going to have a clinic,” Fire Thunder told the newspaper.
But Peters said, “Abortion is what sparked people to contribute, and I don’t think it’s ethical now to say you’re changing the game.”
Leon Matthews, pastor of the Pine Ridge Gospel Fellowship, told the Rapid City Journal that the abortion center idea was diametrically opposed to the pro-life beliefs of Indian Americans.
“We are in a war of ideology," he said. “There are people trying to oppress us with their liberal ideology. The Oglala Sioux Tribe respects life."
About the impeachment vote, Councilman Garfield Steele said Fire Thunder can defend herself at the hearing, but a date for it has not been set. He indicated he would probably vote to impeach her.
The vote to prohibits abortions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was unanimous, 16-0, with two members of the tribal council absent.
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.
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 – https://www.lakotamall.com/oglalasiouxtribe