We're glad this day has rolled around again, and always glad to have the opportunity to keeping talking about the essential human right of reproductive choice. Perhaps obviously, we're less glad that any of us still have to work so hard to support reproductive choice and justice, or to need to explain that it should simply be self-evident.
This year we'd like to highlight some of the many articles, blog entries and advice answers we have at Scarleteen on abortion, other reproductive choices and reproductive justice. The Blog for Choice question this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you? The links below reflect that well.
But in a word, to us, it means exactly that: that as individuals who are members of a collective, and as an organization, we trust women.
Women aren't our only readership or userbase here at Scarleteen, but female-bodied and/or female-identified people make up a majority of our users. We give the sexuality information we do in the way we do, including information on all kinds of reproductive decision-making, because we trust that our readers will make their own best choices when provided sound information to do so with and support, respect and faith in their sexual and reproductive decision-making. One reason we work so hard to do our best to help our users make their own choices without just telling them what choices we feel they should be making is because we trust women. If we, or anyone else, are telling a person what we think is best for them, based solely on our own beliefs, rather than listening to them express their feelings and their reality and then helping them to identify, clarify and enact their own best choices based on their feelings and their reality, we aren't trusting them. Nor are we treating them with respect.
We trust that women know, as women always have known, what is best for themselves and their families at a given time. We trust that women know and understand themselves as best they can, and are the sole experts on themselves. We trust that women, the only ones who should be in the position to have any say about what happens to and inside of our own bodies, can and will make our own best choices when fully allowed to make and supported in making those choices; when provided the unquestioned right to do so by the people around us and the systems and communities we live within. We trust women with choices just as much as we trust women with children, and expect the same of anyone who states either women or children are worthy of respect and basic human rights.
We trust and value women's hearts and minds just as much as we trust and value women's bodies. We don't see how anyone who says they love, care for or respect women can possibly do anything else.