Friday, January 22, 2010

On 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I trust women

NARAL Pro-Choice America is sponsoring a "Blog For Choice" day on this, the 37th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. The case affirmed a woman's right to choose to have a legal, safe abortion if she saw fit.

Our nation was fighting over the issue long before that day in 1973 and the argument certainly hasn't died down since. In fact, the debate has probably only grown more heated and, in some tragic cases, deadly.

But today, NARAL is simply asking you and me to answer one question: What does Trust Women mean to you?

And this is my answer: To trust women means to leave up to them all decisions pertaining to their own bodies and minds. Whether that decision is to terminate a pregnancy or to see it through, we as a society must trust each other to do what is right for ourselves.

We must also work to provide the kind of education and support necessary for informed decision making and healthy living.

That means comprehensive sex education (can we please hire Dan Savage to help write the curriculum?) from an appropriately early age. That means good, affordable access to contraception and general medical care. That means well-funded child care programs both in and out of the work environment, as well as better maternity and paternity leave policies.

Because you can't have real, lasting, meaningful choice without a healthy, supportive environment in which to make it.

The first element in this process, then, is trust. And you don't build trust by screaming in each other's faces, passing swift judgment, assuming that you know what's better for someone than they do, or painting your opponent as evil.

Once we get that through our heads and really learn to trust one another, everything else will follow.


The Sconz said...

Emily, those who oppose abortion do so because they believe it is evil. It really has nothing to do with trust.

In some countries there are problems with infanticide, particularly against girls. Can you imagine somebody making the argument that you just need to "trust that families will do what is right for them" in justifying that?

I understand abortion is different because the fetus is inside the woman's body, and is not under anybody's protection besides her own. But people who believe it is murder will never support it, no matter how much you talk to them about women's rights. That is why the abortion issue will never go away in this country.

Emily said...

Do you honestly think I don't know that? I've written so much on this subject...but I should back off, because I can't expect you to have read all of it.

The "assignment" for today was to write in response to the question about trust, so I did. You're right, of course, that this is a much bigger and more complex issue than that, but today I stuck with one small facet of the debate because, like I said, I've written/talked myself raw on everything else already. Sometimes a girl needs a bit of a break, y'know?

Erich said...

I do think in this country it is about trust. Social conservatives are all about "stay out of my way and keep your government off my (insert item)." However when it comes to choice- they are all about the regulation.
It is a fine time to trust that women know what to do with their bodies.
It really is about trust. Thank you for writing this.

David Blaska said...

Gee, Emily, do you really think that baby in utero is pro-"choice." I think it's fighting for life. Nothing in nature wants to die.

Emily said...

Aw, David, so kind of you to stop by!

EAMD said...

"Fighting for life" by commandeering every single one of that woman's vital functions to sustain itself. Just like a virus. Or a cancer.

Why the hell shouldn't I fight back?

The Lost Albatross