IHS: Stop Blocking Native Women's Access to Emergency Contraception!
  • Petitioned Dr. Yvette Roubideaux

This petition was delivered to:

Director, Indian Health Services
Dr. Yvette Roubideaux
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Katheleen Sebelius
Staff, IHS

IHS: Stop Blocking Native Women's Access to Emergency Contraception!

    1. Sunny Clifford
    2. Petition by

      Sunny Clifford

      Kyle, SD

  1.  
  2.   
September 2013

Victory

On September 19th, 2013 the Indian Health Services announced they had issued directives to all of their facilities requiring Plan B and its generic versions to be made available to patients 17 and older without requiring a prescription or doctor consultation. Thanks to our collective voices, Native women now have more control over their bodies, families, and health!

In the US, women age 17 and over have the legal right to get emergency contraception -- sometimes called Plan B or “the morning after pill -- over the counter and without a prescription at their pharmacy.

But not, it seems, if you're Native like me. I live on a reservation in South Dakota and when I went to get emergency contraception, the IHS workers told me I'd need to drive to a clinic over an hour away. I don't have a car and neither do many people on the rez.

It turns out this is happening all over the country to Native women- a recent roundtable report by the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center found that women are often told they have to see a doctor or have a prescription to get EC. Some find that the pill isn’t in stock on their reservation. I even heard about a woman who was raped who was shamed and then turned away.

This is especially alarming in light of the fact that 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime. I haven't become a statistic but I live in fear that if the worst happened, I wouldn't even have the resources to prevent a pregnancy.

There’s a simple fix to this problem. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, the Director of Indian Health Services, can issue a directive to all service providers that emergency contraception be made available on demand -- without a prescription and without having to see a doctor -- to any woman age 17 or over who asks for it.

Please sign this petition to ask Dr. Roubideaux to issue this directive and to alert the Department of Health and Human Services, which has oversight over her and IHS, to the situation. Native women deserve and demand equal access to basic reproductive health care!

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 100,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jo lowenthal LYNNWOOD, WA
      • 8 months ago

      In the US, women age 17 and over have the legal right to get emergency contraception -- sometimes called Plan B or “the morning after pill -- over the counter and without a prescription at their pharmacy.

      This right is often denied to Native American women who use Indian Health Services to access healthcare.

      Under current Indian Health Services policy, there isn’t even a consistent mechanism to provide survivors of rape and sexual assault the medication they need to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

      Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, the Director of Indian Health Services, can issue a directive to all service providers that emergency contraception be made available on demand -- without a prescription and without having to see a doctor -- to any woman age 17 or over who asks for it. Please correct this flaw in the current policy

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Keara Rodela PORTLAND, OR
      • 8 months ago

      all women should have equal access to quality health health care!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Regina Petry SEATTLE, WA
      • 8 months ago

      All women should be able to make the choice on whether or not to have a child. In order to do that, women must all have access to the contraception and services they need no matter what!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Molly Anderson PORTLAND, OR
      • 8 months ago

      ALL women have a right to birth control, including emergency contraception. Native American women are especially limited in their options. Living on a reservation, they must rely on what the IHS chooses for them. It's time to reform this patronizing relationship between the government and native people. I'm a non-Indian, but I wanted to share my opinion. And hello to my friends on the Lower Brule reservation.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • LORI WILLIAMS PORTLAND, OR
      • 8 months ago

      I am a woman

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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