Blog for Choice Day 2010 – What “Trust Women” Means to Me
Each year, NARAL Pro-Choice America poses a theme for Blog for Choice Day to commemorate the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. This year’s theme honors murdered provider Dr. George Tiller, who reportedly often wore a button that simply read, “Trust Women.”
What “trust women” means to me is a theme I discussed in my 2007 Blog for Choice Day post, and I think those words bear reiteratin here.
I am pro-choice because I believe in women. I believe there are situations in a woman’s life that I/the government cannot possibly manage for her, and I believe individual women are the ones responsible for making the best choices for themselves and their families. Not me, not a politician solely interested in rallying the faithful, not a pharmacist who refuses to fill a legal prescription, not an insurance plan that won’t cover birth control, not a doctor pushing too many inductions and too many c-sections, not schools and parents who believe that ignorance=bliss and safety, not states who refuse to protect women from the tyranny of the majority, not the football game schedule, and not those who would refuse to present medically accurate information to women on a whole host of issues. Women. The individual woman in the individual situation. I trust her, and leave her to her choice.
“Trust women” also means to me that:
-women do not need to be legislatively forced to have, view, and/or have described to them an ultrasound before choosing an abortion, because I don’t start from an assumption that women just don’t know what they’re doing when they seek abortion. I trust that they know exactly what they’re doing, and have made their own best personal choice (and indeed, 60% of women who have abortions each are already mothers).
-women seeking abortion should expect a robust informed consent process – one that provides women with scientifically accurate information about abortion and any potential risks, but does not include scientifically unsupported assertions about breast cancer or mental health risks (in service of an anti-choice agenda). I trust that women will use that accurate information make their own best choices.
-I ask that every woman who says she is pro-life, who protests, who votes against choice, but who turns up at a clinic for an abortion with a “but, my case is different” reason extend the same trust she expects to all other women.
-I trust individual women with their individual decisions more than I trust the government to make personal decisions for all women. As I wrote in my 2008 post, I am pro-choice because the default position should be our, and our government, saying, “yes, we trust you” (with accurate information, and with personal decisions), not the other way around.
I am pro-choice because I trust women. Because I trust women, I am pro-choice.
Added: I specifically focused on abortion in this post because of the Roe anniversary and the Tiller theme. I think there are a lot of other reproductive choice issues around sterilization, birth, etc. that are important but that I didn’t cover here. I’ll be posting a round-up of my favorite blogforchoice posts on all themes sometime this weekend.