Monday, January 25, 2010

In Women We Trust

This post was written to commemorate the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and participate in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s 5th Annual Blog for Choice Day.

What does Trust Women mean to me? What does it mean? As I sit in front of the computer, I struggle with what to say. Then, it dawns on me: it should not be this hard to answer a question that relates to my body, my instincts, my mind, the very center of what and who I am. I cannot go wrong if I say that Trust Women is to trust our intimate knowledge of our bodies, our knowledge of what feels right as opposed to what others want us (or me) to feel. In light of Dr. Tiller’s death and his commitment to Trust Women, I believe that he wanted others to feel compassion for a woman’s choice. Not only because she should have complete autonomy of what happens to her body but because she is the only person who fully understands her situation and experiences

I want anti-choice people to stop judging me and countless other women and to trust us to make the right decision in regards to our bodies. Regardless of what a woman’s decision making process involves, that decision belongs to her and her alone. A common tactic of anti-choice movement is to present stories of women who have regretted their abortion. While I don’t doubt that some women may regret their decision, this should not be used as a reason to restrict the rights of other women. It is a sad reality that women are unable to openly share their experiences without fear of being stigmatized. The feelings and unapologetic attitude of the woman who is comfortable with her decision in terminating a pregnancy are just as valid as the woman who regrets it. It is unacceptable to generalize the experiences of some women in an effort to marginalize all women. Everyone must live with the decisions we make throughout our lives, regardless what others may say. It is those individual experiences that make us unique and allow us to learn and grow as individuals. Some may not understand what led up to the decision or the decision itself but it is not for others to judge — regardless of which side of the fence one stand on.

Reproductive health care is not a privilege. It’s a right. The government has made the commitment to provide health care for all and as such private decisions made between patients and doctors should not be politicized and made public to judge. The values of freedom and responsibility are what the Constitution is about and anti-choice supporters seem eager to dismiss those share American values when convenient. In that case, one has to wonder what our world would be like if ‘In Women We Trust’ was our original motto.

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