Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center. “A Survey of the Availability of Plan B® and Emergency Contraceptives Within Indian Health Service.” Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center, 2008. http://www.nativeshop.org/images/stories/media/pdfs/SurveyofEC_PlanBintheIHSER2008.pdf.
In this report, the authors discuss the structural barriers that exists that prevent Native American women from receiving Plan B contraception. Based on the experience of the Native American Women’s Health Education Center, they argue the need to destroy these barriers is urgent, since Native American women are more likely to be raped than any other group of women in the U.S. However, according to the authors, the Indian Health Services has argued that they have no control on whether they can offer Plan B since this is a matter that needs to be decided in tribal courts. So, the authors argue that this matter must not be given to the tribal courts – as this is an issue that affects women, they should be the ones who are consulted by Indian Health Services. To do otherwise, the authors argue, would deny Native American women the options of birth control that have been afforded to other women with more resources and privilege.
This report is helpful for anyone is interested in Native American women’s health. It clearly states the problem and it contextualizes why this is a matter that needs immediate attention. This audience for this piece varies: it should be read by different tribes, administrators of the Indian Health Center, and the general public.