I am happy to celebrate the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade today and participate in NARAL Pro-Choice's 5th Annual Blog for Choice Day. The blog topic is "What does TRUST WOMEN mean to you?"
For me the term TRUST WOMEN goes far beyond the abortion issue or reproductive rights. It is almost a perfect tag line for the feminist view of almost any issue I can think of. Of course the phrase immediately makes me think of abortion and a woman's right to choose whether or not she bears a child. The (still astonishing) fact that abortion is basically legal in the US assures that a woman can exercise her autonomy and be the primary decision-maker in a choice that will forever impact her life. I do think that societal shifts and some policy changes need to take place before ALL American women feel as though they actually do have a choice. Whether they are hindered by cultural, religious, socio-economical or familial constraints, every woman should feel empowered to be the ultimate decider of her future. I understand all of the different and personal obligations that women feel (or are forced to consider) that may sway their abortion decisions and I think all of those are valid but ultimately a woman should be able to weigh all those factors privately and be trusted by her loved ones that she made the choice that was right for her. I do think that many of those constraints exist because we are taught to NOT trust women, but to consider us less than capable of making our own decisions, or somehow in need of assistance (and this comes from women and men.)
Abortion and reproductive rights aside, the term TRUST WOMEN is valid in many other issues and decisions. If society in general trusted women and felt them equally as capable as men, and if women were taught to trust themselves, gender roles (and gender oppression) would be forced to shift as well.
I am ardently Pro-Choice because I trust that women are the most capable beings to make decisions for themselves (just as men are the most capable beings to make decisions for themselves as well). If we want help, we are also capable of asking for it but until then please TRUST WOMEN.