Most South Dakotans would reject abortion ban

A poll conducted by the Argus Leader and KELOLAND-TV shows that most voters in South Dakota would reject the state’s sweeping abortion ban.
Nice.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 1, 2006 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    This won’t help women on the Oglala Sioux Nation where it will still be illegal.
    Here’s what I have to say as a Nakota Sioux woman about tradition’s that limit woman’s rights:

    It may be tradition to do this or that, according to this person or that, but we must look clearly at what future we are dealing our young women when we assign them this lot so early in life. Especially, if that child is from rape or incest. Women are capable of knowing whether they have the resources to give a child a good life. Unless, they are able to make that choice the continued cycle of grinding poverty will continue to spiral out of control. This is not about killing babies, but about growing strong families that have the resources to take care of each other. If we speak of a tradition that values life, we must also speak of a tradition that valued self-control. Lakota/Dakota/Nakota men were taught to control their sexual drive. Traditionally, a man was not a man unless he could control himself. A couple that had children closer than four years apart faced deep shame in the community. It was regarded and called “killing the child�. Children were supposed to be spaced four years apart, any less and you endangered the older child. It was a shame that stayed with the “killed child� for the rest of their lives. People who knew would look upon that child with pity. Even in old age it would be remembered how the parents had disrespected their elder child.
    So, when we talk about tradition, we must realize that it cannot work in bits and pieces. And that even if wholly intact, it may not work at all today. If women must not commit abortion, then Lakota men on the reservation must practice this traditional form of manhood and have strict control of their sexual drive. The reason women on the reservation face some of the highest rates of rape and incest in the country is because men, obviously, do not practice this. One gender cannot pay the price for a broken society. And we cannot ignore the real price women pay and that children pay raised in difficult circumstances. Raising children is no small feat. And periods of pregnancy and childbirth mark periods of the greatest economic stress for families in the United States on or off the reservation. Expectant parents in the United States are more likely to slide below the poverty level. Women in the workforce, educated or not, are more likely to face negative job performance reviews when they are pregnant. Society punishes women for veering from the male norm. Asking women to bear children in order that no Lakota fetus may be killed sounds noble, but does it change anything? The Oglala tribe resides in Shannon County, consistently ranked as the poorest county in the nation. Resources are scarce. Unemployment at 85%. Pregnancy reduces the chances of young women to get an education, provide for their children and improve the economic status of future generations. Even for college-educated women, paying for childcare can be an expensive proposition and expecting grandma or some other female relative to stay home and watch the children is not always feasible as most of the tribal members who hold jobs on the reservation are female. Most of the college degrees held by tribal members are held by women. Yet, most of tribal council is male.
    There was a certain pragmatism to the old Lakota/Dakota/Nakota traditions perceptible in the harsh community condemnation of parents who bore children too close together. It is obvious that they valued the life that already exists more than that might be. That they held self-evident that parents and the community should do everything in their power to ensure the well-being for the children who already exist to not only survive, but thrive. How is the Oglala Nation doing this today if they do not value the lives and potentiality of their women? Why are they willing to create a generation of “killed women”? Even of “killed children” as many of these young women are little more than children themselves? I am a mother and I am raising two children. The effort and daily investment in each child is great even after only 6 years of motherhood. I value my children and as such, I value their potential. I would never demand my daughter, as a teenager, bear a child of rape or of incest. It would be devaluing her. It would be “killing” her because I am forcing into life another life before the present is able to bear it. This was something that our ancestors understood. Perhaps, better than we do now.

    TiyospayeNow: Fire Thunder Impeachment and the Rights of Women

  2. Erin
    Posted August 3, 2006 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    What? Are you saying the Republican lawmakers aren’t accurately representing the wishes of their constituents?
    And in other news, water is wet.

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