1.21.2010

Trust Women

As we approach the 37th anniversary of the still controversial Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court, giving women, control of their bodies as well as their lives, two recent news stories caught my attention and dramatically reinforced the notion that women still need legal protection from those bent on denying our rights as well as our humanity.

From The Huffington Post comes word of a Superbowl commercial being crafted by Focus on the Family featuring the mother of Tim Tebow, the acclaimed football quarterback from Florida. You can read the whole story here.

However, the gist of the article says that during the commercial, Tim's mother will tell the tale of how she got sick while doing missionary work in the Philippines. She was carrying her fifth child. Doctors, according to the story reportedly told her to get an abortion. She said no, and later gave birth to the baby who would grow into the acclaimed quarterback that many celebrate today.

Second story, this one in The Daily Beast. about a woman who went into a Springfield Massachusetts hospital in 2006, for a C-section delivery of her ninth child She delivered a healthy, full term baby boy, and she asked for and expected to be fitted with an IUD to prevent future pregnancies following the delivery. Instead, during the C-section and without her permission, the surgeons tied her tubes so that she could never have another child, ever. They figured nine was enough.

Now you say, what do these stories have in common....well, the answer is Choice...The choice of a woman to control her own body and reproductive future and health. Choice exercised...Choice taken away.

Quarterback Tim Tebow's mother, Pam, exercised her right to choose. Yet she campaigns vigorously to strip those rights from all other women. She does not trust women to do the right thing because it may not align with what she considers to be the right thing.

But that is not the point of Roe v Wade. All Roe v Wade says is that women have the right to make the decision about what they do with their bodies....Pam Tebow did it....Nadia Suliemann did it....that woman in Utah with 19 children and counting does it every nine months.

These women exercised their right to control their body, period. So why shouldn't the rest of us be able to do the same thing? Why are all women prejudged not capable of trust or control by many like Pam Tebow, simply because it does not line up necessarily with their way of thinking.

By the same token, the right to choose was taken away from the woman in Massachusetts. She gave birth and then had her rights stripped away from her without her knowledge or permission. Someone, somewhere, decided that nine was enough. They took her right to choose away forever.

This woman was violated as if she'd been raped. She was in effect told that, we, the doctors at this hospital, don't trust you to make the right decision about your body, your family and your life.

Forced sterilization in America is supposed to be illegal....It is supposed to be uncivilized, something that American doctors regularly engaged in back in the day when women were wholesale judged as not trustworthy or capable of making any decision, let alone one controlling their own body.

These personal judgments are what women must be protected from. That is what Roe v Wade does. It protects us from the whims of others. All laws like it or not...are double edged...the right to do or the right not to do...

Trusting women is what Roe v Wade is all about. The law says women are the ones best able to decide what goes on in their lives, no one else. We trust you to do the right thing.

Trust Women.

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