Friday, June 30, 2006

Tribal leader ousted over abortion clinic

PORCUPINE, S.D. - A Sioux tribe ousted its president for proposing an abortion clinic on the reservation, which would be beyond the reach of South Dakota's strict new abortion ban. By a 9-5 vote late Thursday, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council determined Cecelia Fire Thunder had pursued the clinic for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation without council approval, and she was immediately replaced. "The bottom line is the Lakota people were adamantly opposed to abortion on our homelands. The president was involved in unauthorized political actions," said Will Peters, the council member who filed the complaint. Fire Thunder said the council did not handle the action properly and promised to challenge it. "It's not about abortion. A lot of them have personal stuff toward me," said Fire Thunder, who had survived two earlier attempts to remove her from office since becoming the tribe's first female president in 2004.

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