Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that secured abortion rights for women in the United States. Sally already wrote a great post about this year’s theme, “Trust Women.” Jos over at Feministing has also written about what “Trust Women” means for her, especially in light of Dr. Tiller’s murder.
For me, though, “Trust Women” rings a little bit differently — because, quite frankly, I don’t trust women to always make the right decision or the best decision any more than I trust men to. At the end of the day, human beings do foolish things all the time — we make bad choices, we lie, we cheat, we mess up, we hurt other people, we make mistakes. We do things we regret. We regret not doing things. It’s part of being human.
So, no, I don’t trust women to always make the right choice or the best choice. And one consequence of that is that I sure as hell don’t trust any other woman (or man) to make the best decision for me about my body.
Part of being human is accepting that no one of us is perfect or infallible, and that in structuring our laws and our society, one goal is to mitigate harm as much as possible while giving individuals as much freedom as possible. For me, “trust women” isn’t a rallying cry because women are the best decision-makers or because women don’t make mistakes or because every choice is a good choice; it’s a rallying cry because it emphasizes that women are human. We are imperfect, we are fallible, we will not always choose what any given outsider thinks is best — but we nonetheless deserve the right to determine, for ourselves, how and when and why we reproduce.