Demand Native American Women Get Access To Emergency Contraception

One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime, but in many Native communities, women have little to no access to emergency contraception.

On most reservations, the only medical facilities are the Indian Health Service centers, federally administered divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services. But according to the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center, only 10 percent of the pharmacies in the IHS offered Plan B. Forty percent only provide Plan B with a prescription, and the other half don’t provide it at all.

Those are depressing truths, but as Colorlines reports, so far even in the face of that evidence IHS is doing nothing to address the fact that Native women effectively have no access to effective emergency contraception.

Given the high number of incidents of sexual assault and the fact that emergency contraception is only effective to prevent a pregnancy if taken within 72 hours–something functionally impossible if you are trying to secure a prescription from a short-staffed clinic or to travel to a clinic sometimes hundreds of miles away first–this story is a mounting civil rights crisis.

We can do something about this though. These kinds of bureaucratic injustices respond to pressure and daylight. Native American women deserve to have access to emergency contraception and that access shouldn’t be dictated by what appears to be now nothing more than institutional inertia.

Related Stories:

Sexual Assault Epidemic Against Native Americans: Will VAWA Help?

Photo from meddygarnet via flickr.

70 comments

Julie H.
Julie Hoffman3 years ago

SMDH. I wish to one day see in person the living spirit of native american heritage. I live in ND & have only met a few who still have it. I love native heritage it is beautiful & full of life. I will never forget at my very first job a random native man sang me a song with my name in it. He was the sweetest stranger I ever met.

Bette M.
Bette M.4 years ago

Got it signed & noted.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan4 years ago

It shoulf be made avalable to all women.
Yes the U.S. is so two faced . We can tell other countries how to have human rights, but then we are so guilty of taking away rights. The U.S. is a laughing stock to most countries.

Bette M.
Bette M.4 years ago

I can not sign because the thing
will not scroll down for me.
Is there somewhere else I can sign?

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Deirdre G.
Deirdre G.4 years ago

native American women deserve to be treated the same as other Americans, I dont know how America manages such blatant discrimination while telling other countries how to run their own citizens lives

L. C.
Ms. L. C.4 years ago

Native American Women Have Just As Much Right To Make Choices As Any Other American Citizen! And They Should Be Given That Right Honestly And Fairly!

KELLY ROGERS
Kelly Rogers4 years ago

signed. As a multiple rape survivor and two resulting in children they deserve it

Muriel C.
Muriel C.4 years ago

How dare anyone interfere with the Native American women's rights? Haven't they suffered enough?

Lauren B.

Not surprising. Sad and frustrating and unfair.

Dianne Lane
Dianne Lane4 years ago

I signed and passed it on! My prayers are with them!