From lawmakers, advocates and everyday citizens, people are furious over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and are organizing rallies across the country. Indigenous communities were no exception, ICT rounded up reactions from around the web.
Using tribal sovereignty to bypass state restrictions is an idea largely proposed by non-Native groups and is unlikely, according to an article published Wednesday by High Country News.
“Legal issues wouldn’t be the only barriers to providing abortion services on tribal land. Tribal councils would be unlikely to approve such clinics,” Charon Asetoyer said in the article. She’s the executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center on the Yankton Sioux tribal lands in South Dakota.
(Related: ‘We will never, ever stop having abortions’)
In the northwest efforts have already been underway to prioritize healthcare for everyone who needs it. Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Fund was established earlier this year with the state legislature approving $15 million, in preparation for the overturn of Roe V. Wade and Friday an additional $1 million in grant money was announced.
Advocates are issuing a call to action, requesting donations to the fund. Se-ah-dom Edmo is the executive director of Seeding Justice, the non-profit tasked with administering the fund to organizations.
"While $15 million is a strong foundation that will allow us to be responsive to our communities, we also know that needs will only continue to (increase). I'm therefore here to announce that the Reproductive Health Equity Fund is open to receive additional donations. We call on individual contributors in the philanthropic community to help us grow the fund and maximize our reach and impact,” Edmo said at a press conference Friday, where she spoke alongside the executive director of the ACLU Oregon Sandy Chung and other leaders from pro-choice organizations.
It’s been well documented that this issue is not new for Indigenous women within the U.S. and it’s something attorney and professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, knows all too well.
In 2019, Republican-controlled states were pushing a series of sweeping restrictions, in what many women saw as an archaic move to set back women’s reproductive rights to a dangerous time when illegal abortions led to death, disfigurement, or infertility.
From the 2019 article: “The new abortion laws don’t ever have to be implemented and the Supreme Court doesn’t have to overturn Roe to make abortion inaccessible for Native women; restrictions are nothing new. For Native women, the lack of access to abortions has been real for years.”
Back then, Deer told ICT that Native women have been battling the pro-life movement for a long time. “Well before the Alabama law, Native American women have been denied access to abortions,” said Deer. “Abortion rights are talked about in a vacuum as if we have a choice, but there are few choices.” Deer insists that too often people miss the deeper story. The pro-choice story and language are predominantly religious. “But for us, for Native people, it’s different,” she said.
Now, non-Native women are feeling some of the disenfranchisement Native women have known for too long.
Below is a collection of reactions ICT compiled on Friday.
Deer wrote: “Thomas is prepared to go further, writing (in concurrence): "For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably erroneous.”" Folks, these cases are birth control, same-sex sexuality, and marriage equality. If he had his druthers, he would overturn all of them.”
Jodi Jacobson, founder of Rewire News: “Today is a horrific day for this country. SCOTUS is gutting major laws protecting human rights, the right to be free of violence, and the right to regulate dangerous weapons. There's more to come.
It's also the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a historic achievement the right is also seeking to roll back.
The juxtaposition of these two things reminds me that the fight is *never over,* and that you can never fight any of these fights half-heartedly or "moderately" because otherwise we are always, at best, running in place and in reality never solving actual problems. We make them worse when we pretend there is any halfway to basic human rights”
Reactions from other social networks:
IllumiNatives amplified Indigenous Women Rising, an organization that works to overcome and reduce barriers to abortion healthcare for Indigenous people. Rep. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, and Native Hawaiian Rep. Kai Kahele also voiced disappointment and concern:
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