"Trust women." That sign got me thinking. Imagine being a freshman in college. You've spent the last four years studying deep into the night after coming home from your job as a cashier at a pizzeria. You woke up groggy every morning and kissed your single mom goodbye before heading to school where you took AP classes and volunteered as the editor of the school paper. When you weren't studying, working at the pizzeria or the school paper, even though you were exhausted, you worked at an animal shelter, not only because you loved it but because extracurriculars would help you get into college and college wasn't just your dream, it was also your mother's dream. If you worked hard, you would be the first in the family to go. So, you get there and you fall in love with a great guy. College is amazing. People are open minded and you're learning about so much more than you ever could in the small town you came from. Then a condom breaks and you find out you're pregnant. Your state government says you have to that baby. You're 19 years old and your dream and your mother's dream dissolves. You have to go back to your small town and start working full time at the pizzeria. Your mother is sad and you're sad and your great guy is still at college, rushing a fraternity, while you're vomiting half the day wondering how you're ever going to be able to take care of the child. "Trust women." Imagine you're six months pregnant. You and your husband have been trying to have a baby for seven years. Invitro finally worked. Both of you are tipsy with glee. You paint the nursery, painstakingly assemble the crib, make lullaby playlists, study safe sleep techniques, buy all organic onesies, and thank God every day that it's finally your turn to have a baby. But then at a doctor's visit, you discover there's no heartbeat. You and your husband collapse on each other sobbing in the doctor's office. Your heart pounds until you're sure it's actually broken. Then you're told you'll have to "let it pass." At first, you're confused. What does that mean? Are they saying you're going to have to go into labor and have a stillborn baby? Isn't that dangerous? Couldn't that cause sepsis? You're told that performing surgery to remove the baby is technically an abortion and the law will not allow it. That you'll have to go home and wait for nature to take its course. As for the sepsis, yes, that could happen, and you might die, but abortions are illegal. "Trust women."
Imagine you're 35 years old and pregnant. You've always wanted to have a baby and although you and the father are no longer together, you've decided you're going to be an awesome single mom to this baby. During a visit to the gynecologist, she discovers a lump in your breast. You're diagnosed with stage 3 estrogen driven breast cancer. The oncologist says the pregnancy excelled the cancer growth and that having the baby will likely kill you. If you decide to abort the baby, chances of you living are much higher. You're faced with the horrifying decision of aborting your child or having your child and dying, making your child motherless. "Trust women."
Yesterday, my mother and I attended the Women's March in Montpelier Vermont. We marched because we believe in a woman's right to choose. We marched because we believe in women's rights. Not just reproductive rights, but the right to equal pay, the right to work in harassment-free environment, the right to access women's healthcare, the right to safety from violence and so much more.
We marched because women's rights are in danger and we can't just sit there and do nothing. We marched because abortions are not just medical procedures. They happen to real people with real emotions, dreams, and stories. Abortions come in many forms and for many reasons. No wants to have an abortion. No wants to make that awful decision. But if the decision has to be made, it should be made by the person who is carrying that baby. Trust women.