- By Native News Online Staff
The recent leak of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has women across Indian Country talking. Here are some of their public statements on the issue.
Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan: Abortion is health care. Period. In Minnesota, your rights will stay protected.
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk: If this opinion holds true, it will be a monumental step backwards. And when Kansas votes on a constitutional amendment in August, we will be the first state to decide if we agree that the government has control over women’s health care choices. I’ll tell you this: I don’t.
Mary Peltola, Yup’ik, Congressonal Candidate, Alaska (Democrat): I’m the only pro-choice woman in this race and as your U.S. Representative I will stand up for women and fight to enshrine abortion protections in federal law. Vote Pro-choice. Vote Mary Peltola.
Tara Sweeny, Iñupiaq, Congressional Candidate, Alaska (Republican): Don’t make the mistake of assuming all Republicans think alike on this issue. @MaryPeltola and @lruskin I am pro-choice, very much in this race and a proud Alaska woman.
Stacy Leeds, ᏣᎳᎩ, Arizona State University Law Professor: Native women’s modern reproductive rights battles have included: (1) being sterilized w/o consent + (2) being denied meaningful access to contraception. If these 2 facts are news to you, please stop w/ the “can an abortion clinic be opened on tribal lands” questions (1/4)
Dr. Twyla Baker, Mandan-Hidatsa: The hypocrisy of 'sanctity of life' arguments is more glaring when you know about forced sterilizations of Native women. When you know about the theft of generations of Native babies through boarding school systems & the foster system. It's not about life, it's about control.
Caitlin Newago, Ojibwe/Oneida: Hey fun fact: I’ve had 2 abortions. Without them, I’d likely be seriously injured or not alive today- these procedures were literally life saving. I would have been trapped in an abusive relationship indefinitely without access to abortion.
Sierra Ornelas, Navajo/Mex-American, Showrunner for Rutherford Falls, Writer for Brooklyn99/Superstore/Happy Endings (Thread): I've never had an abortion. But there’s no way I’d have the life I do without one. I was a really curious kid, always asking my parents questions and even though they were always busy working, they took the time to answer them. Once I asked my mom, “What if I got pregnant?” 1/
My mom said “If you wanted to keep it, we would help you. And if we didn’t, we would help you get an abortion.” I was kinda shocked she said it so matter of factly. We lived in AZ and people didn’t talk like that. My mom proceeded to tell me a story. 2/
In the 1970s my mom participated in Relocation, (the US Gov. gave Native folks a one-way bus ticket to big cities.) She went to Phoenix because there was no snow and it was too far for her parents to visit. There she met a man with a motorcycle. And fell in love. 3/
They moved in together and planned to be together forever. One day his father shows up and said it was time to come home. That’s how she found out he was married with children. He walked out on her leaving her with rent/a bunch of bills. Then she found out she was pregnant. 4/
She got an abortion. She explained to me that there was a time when she wasn’t legally allowed to, but luckily it was legal then. After that, she worked hard to stay in AZ, met my dad, went on to become an award winning Master Navajo Tapestry Weaver and raised two children. 5/
I’m so fucking grateful these were my bed time stories. Her honesty taught me that my dreams mattered. That it was okay, for any reason, to be a brown woman and advocate for your future. I wouldn't be here without her abortion. My path is bound to decisions she made. 6/
This shit has ripples. That's what anti-choice folks will never absorb. That we can be the leads in our stories, that we have ownership of our futures. Our bodies are guided by our choices. I’m so mad. I feel like we’ve failed these women. These mothers who remember when. 7/
I have no answers. I asked my mom for permission to share this story and she said “Yes. You have my permission. Go give it a good fight. We can’t lose our rights as women.” Go give it a good fight. 8/
Kelly Lynne D’Angelo, Haudenosaunee: They are going to start “outlawing” our rights, one-by-one. They are going to make things “illegal,” like abortion, to jail us. We need to resist NOW. Loudly.
Kansas State Rep. Christina Haswood, Diné: With #RoeVWade on all our minds, I’m fired up to be in DC right now with my fellow pro-choice Democratic women who are going to lead the charge in their home states. We need all hands on deck.
Deoné Newell, Blk.native: When a Navajo (Diné), we believe they are a part of two worlds: the spirit world and the physical world. Yet they still belong to the Holy People (Diyin Dine’é). It’s not until the baby’s first laugh that we believe the baby is chosen to transition from the spirit world into our world. When a Navajo baby laughs, they are telling the Holy People they are happy with their new family. They have made a connection in our world and have chosen to stay with us. During pregnancy, the mother and the spirit of the unborn are in communion. The mother decides if it is time to bring that spirit into the world. This decision is reserved strictly for the mother. If it is not time, for any reason (including but not limited to climate, war, famine, the well-being of the mother and/or other children, intuition, etc.) the mother can choose to abort a pregnancy. This decision is celebrated. The mother along with the elders, midwives, her guides, and the ancestors go into ceremony specifically with the intention of aborting a pregnancy. The woman is provided with tinctures, herbs, and talismans to help this process. Specific songs are sung and prayers are said thanking the Holy People for temporary fellowship with the unborn. The entire community is in support of this process. For centuries, midwives and healers have held sacred knowledge of which contraceptive and abortifacient plants could be made available to women in their communities. Abortion has always been a part of Indigenous communities and is celebrated. The anti-abortion movement is rooted in colonial oppression and assimilation.
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