What you need to know about the Native Nations and abortion discourse: a primer. So recently this idea has emerged that if the fed govt outlaws abortions, Native Nations should provide these services on tribal lands since tribal sovereignty would exempt us from this law. A 🧵1/

My initial thoughts are here, prompted by a question on the plausibility of the idea https://twitter.com/DrBlackDeer/status/1528299539219742721?s=20&t=stx3piZK3EqlL1byJCxelw 2/

There are three main things to understand here: 1). tribal sovereignty. 2). the legacy of structural violence against Native Nations exemplified here by the Hyde Amendment, Indian Health Service, and jurisdictional maze. and 3). how white supremacy + yt feminism underpin this 3/

1. Tribal sovereignty is the inherent right for Native Nations to govern ourselves. This means that the fed govt should approach all work with Native Nations from a nation-to-nation approach. The fed govt does not "grant" this to us, and we do not "invoke" it. It simply is. 4/

2. The legacy of structural violence (SV) that shapes how Native Nations operate today. SV posits that society is shaped in such a way that creates, enforces, and sustains violence against certain communities. This violence is built into society and is largely invisible. 5/

Examples of SV relevant to the present thread include the status of the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Hyde Amendment. IHS is understaffed, chronically underfunded federal health benefit for Native Nations. It is a treaty responsibility from the fed govt to tribes 6/

IHS is a federal facility and thus subject to Hyde Amendment jurisdiction, which prevents the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services (Herrera, 2020). Only exceptions are for rape, incest, or if a woman's life is in danger. 7/

In fact, the Indian Health Service didn't even provide access to Plan B pills until a 2010 lawsuit. However, even 2 years after this decision, half of all IHS facilities were still not in compliance. (Herrera, 2020). 8/

So in thinking about the "idea" of Native Nations providing abortions, there is no infrastructure for such services. As IHS does not provide these services even for Native women on tribal lands. What does that mean for non-Native folx seeking abortions? 9/

We have to then turn to Federal Indian Policy to understand the jurisdictional maze of Native Nations. The problem is essentially who does what? If abortion is outlawed, and a non-Native person received an abortion on Native lands they would be subject to federal prosecution. 10/

If there is no federal law against the abortion but there is a state law against it, the federal gov't can borrow the state's law and apply it in federal court (Adler, 2022). 11/

So we've seen sovereignty and structural violence, but a major issue of this entire discourse is the underlying white supremacy and peak white feminism in selectively recognizing tribal sovereignty or Native Nations, contributing to erasure and.. 12/

Invisibility of the ongoing work of Indigenous activists in this space of reproductive justice. Perfectly summed up here: https://twitter.com/GabriellaCKelly/status/1523030331414089732?s=20&t=stx3piZK3EqlL1byJCxelw 13/

We know Native women are more at risk for experiencing harm as a result of abortion being outlawed. Don't erase us in discussions of reproductive justice. See @echohawkd3 work in Golden, 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/19/roe-v-wade-indigenous-women-increase-violence?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other 14/

Sociology professor Dorothy Roberts describes how this is all related to white supremacy and replacement theory here: https://twitter.com/DorothyERoberts/status/1525894575650390018?s=20&t=HTBjg37Y8zqsJOCgNDIPRg 15/

For an Indigenous law perspective, see @stacyleeds work: https://twitter.com/stacyleeds/status/1522612064438657024?s=20&t=HTBjg37Y8zqsJOCgNDIPRg 16/

For an Indigenous activist's perspective, see @zhaabowekwe work: https://twitter.com/zhaabowekwe/status/1528733037990756352?s=20&t=stx3piZK3EqlL1byJCxelw 17/

Finally, see @ProfEagleWoman work in Adler, 2022 https://twitter.com/ProfEagleWoman/status/1527792197474582529?s=20&t=stx3piZK3EqlL1byJCxelw 18/

and read Herrera, 2020 here: https://www.hcn.org/issues/52.3/indigenous-affairs-public-health-indigenous-women-face-extra-barriers-when-it-comes-to-reproductive-rights 19/

This is all meant to be a *primer* for getting started. The internet is a great place for ideas and whatnot, but part of doing the work is then taking that idea and doing your own learning to then reflect, digest/interpret, and make meaning for yourself. Thanks for looking. /end

Wait one more thing, for more information on tribal jurisdiction, the Tribal Law and Order Act, and the Major Crimes Act, check out Amnesty International's report entitled "Maze of Injustice" here:

Originally tweeted by Autumn A. BlackDeer, PhD (@DrBlackDeer) on May 23, 2022.

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