No Plan B for Native American women

Despite being at exceptionally high risk for sexual assault, many have little access to emergency contraception

By Salon Staff

Published March 14, 2012 8:12PM (EDT)

Many women in America's most vulnerable communities are already forced to live out Rick Santorum's contraception-less nightmare. Heather Michon explains:

After weeks of debate over personhood, Planned Parenthood funding, transvaginal ultrasounds, fetal pain, Fluke-fest, aspirin-between-the-knees, and the little matter of 130,000 economically disadvantaged Texas women losing access to basic health care starting today, discussions about the accessibility of Plan B seem so... December 2011. Ancient history.

But for one group of women, access to emergency contraception is an urgent and tragically unmet need: the hundreds of thousands of Native American women who live on reservation lands. Their struggle for a better standard of care is the subject of a recent roundtable discussion by the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC).

The statistics are stark. More than 1 in 3 Native American women will be sexually assaulted their lifetimes, a rate much higher than the general population. In one study, a stunning 92 percent of young women reported they had been forced to have sex against their will on a date.

Read more on her Open Salon blog.

Salon Staff

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