The need for emergency contraception among women who rely on the Indian Health Service is clear. Some Native American women are in rural areas where the next-closest pharmacy may be hundreds of miles away, and they may not have transportation.
It’s been two years since the FDA made certain types of emergency contraception available without a prescription to women of all ages, but Indian Health Service has yet to update its policy.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit today claiming pregnant women on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota, are being pressured into undergoing labor inductions, without proper information or support.
Women of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in South Dakota are being coerced into induced labor at Indian Health Services facilities.
Passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act has been delayed by anti-abortion politicians, who have proposed restrictions on abortion funding that would discriminate against Native American women.
The Senate last week approved an amendment to an Indian health care bill that would permanently prohibit the use of federal dollars to fund abortions for Native Americans except in rare cases. The move has prompted an outcry from women’s health advocates and from tribal groups.
The Senate today passed a bill that would severely limit funding for abortion within the Indian Health Services (IHS). But the ban, introduced by anti-choice Sen. David Vitter, would result in no change to current IHS policy.