i trust women…

February 21, 2012

I tossed and turned the last few nights, even during a short get-a-way to the beach this weekend. My heart troubled by all that is going on in my state regarding women’s health and rights. You can read the details of the story here.

I knew kindness was calling me but I wasn’t sure where or how. I called my dear friend Jen to see if there was some way we could honor all women in the midst of all that is happening. I ran an idea by her but it just didn’t stick, so I went to my Facebook page to check-in and found this from another dear friend Valerie:

One thing that really angers me about this whole thing is that it makes me feel like some think I am not smart or thoughtful or trustworthy enough to make the best decisions for me and my family. So angry that I’m sort of paralyzed by it. I’m sure other women feel the same way…but I have no idea what to do about it.

And in that moment Valerie expressed so much, a very basic desire for trust, the kind that we all deserve as human beings, for simply no other reason than that we exist. Jen texted just minutes later and had an idea, and this one stuck.

It is our great hope that we  as a community, state and country trust all women to make the right decisions for their lives and families whatever that may be, and we trust women to ask for help if they need it. 

We would like to invite you to join us in trusting women as human beings, because it is our right. Here are some ways we can come together for each other, for ourselves and for our future:

1. Like our I TRUST WOMEN Facebook page. Upload a picture of you holding a sign “I trust women.” or “I trust myself” on the Facebook page. These pictures will be printed and sent to the delegates responsible for the Virginia bill #484.

2. Share your stories of trust in the comments. Women you have trusted, or times you needed people to trust you, or moments when you had to really trust yourself.

3. Donate to the TRUST fund (and we instantly all become trust fund babies. :)).

Please donate $4.84 in protest of the Virginia bill #484  to the organizations listed below. Bill #484 requires all women to have an unnecessary medical procedure of a transvaginal ultrasound and view the screen before they have an abortion.

Planned Parenthood (they may require a minimum $5 payment)

National Organization for Women

or another local organization helping women near you.

Tell us in the comments or e-mail patience@kindnessgirl.com to let us know if you donated (we will keep your name and amount anonymous if desired) so we can tally the TRUST fund. We decided to have you donate directly to the organizations to avoid paying the processing fees that would have been required had we collected the funds ourselves. (and because we are tired mothers)

 Thank you for being part of this with us…and for standing together for women, for all of us.


jen & patience

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45 Responses to “i trust women…”

  1. pjpink Says:

    Thank you for offering a positive response to this idiocy.

  2. ophile Says:

    I donated $4.84 to RRFP! Thank you Jen + Patience for this beautiful way to help!

  3. Jess Says:

    I do trust women! And to back it up, I just donated to the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project.

    So glad to see you adding to the movement. Many times over the past two weeks I have thought “where is KindnessGirl in the midst of all this madness?” – and of course you were there, feeling it deeply and meditating on how to act!

  4. Jennifer Says:

    oh my…. yes.

  5. Erin Wilson Says:

    I love the idea behind this, but you know… I’m not sure it goes quite far enough. “…we trust women to ask for help if they need it.” I think if we tell women it’s okay to ask for help, we need to be willing to stand up and give it.

    So many people are quick to tell others what they can and cannot do, but aren’t willing to step up and provide some options.

    • Erin Wilson Says:

      Just to clarify… I wasn’t talking about anyone in this space. I mean those on the angry side of this debate.

      • Jess Says:

        Erin, you’re correct that we all need to be willing and able to provide a helping hand. That may take many forms for different people – for some it may mean being a letter-writer because that’s what they can squeeze into their day. For some it’s standing up in protest at the Capitol. For some it’s raising awareness among their friends on Facebook. For some, like my friend Wendy, it’s a life of service behind a desk at Planned Parenthood and Richmond Women’s Medical Center. Expressions of anger can also be productive. More than anything, I want us all to SUSTAIN this power and to keep contributing in our own ways even after the media furor dies down.

  6. SaraK Says:

    I just donated $5 to NOW…thanks for creating a venue for our voices to be heard!

  7. Shannon Gregory Says:

    I don’t trust all women! We can’t honestly say that we look around every day, and with all that we see women do to their bodies and to the children of this world, as the next generation, that we trust all women. I don’t. Most of them, yes. I am sure most can make great decisions for themselves, but have you seen some of the women that are out there? Don’t we watch the news? Don’t you walk through Wal-Mart with your mouth gaped open? Do you hear of the hurt some of these poor kids go through when they come over to spend the night with your children, in your happy home? Sorry. I am just speaking realistically, here. Do we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY trust wom”en”?

    • Cliff Says:

      I agree with this. I surely wish we could trust all women to make the best decisions but tragically, all don’t. I wish we could trust all men, too, not to hurt the women they supposedly love, but we can’t. Therefore, laws exist to attempt to restrain men from hurting women.

      In a large swath of Asia at this very moment, there is now a huge gender imbalance because women have aborted girl babies by the million, prefering boys. Tragic, sickening, awful.

      • Jess Says:

        One problem with this line of thinking is that it presupposes what the “best decisions” are. Each of us has our own moral code, but we cannot force our moral code onto other people. Our legal system must support ALL women, even those with whom we disagree, in making their own life choices.

        That does not mean that we cannot reach out in our private lives to provide whatever support we think necessary. For many of us, that means supporting women’s reproductive autonomy. For another person, it might mean working for an adoption agency to help children to find homes, or working on gender equality issues so that girls all over the world experience less violence at the hands of their families, who prefer male children.

        At the government level, we must support the individual autonomy of each and every woman and man. To do otherwise is to go against everything that we consider to be American. At the societal level, we must work toward ending the pressures that work against women, so that we can reduce unwanted pregnancy and eliminate prejudice against women. It all starts with TRUST and KINDNESS.

  8. Concerned and sad Says:

    This makes me very sad. Kindness is such a wonderful thing that unites people. This divides people.. Thoughtful, well meaning people fall on both sides of this issue and it lures kindness into the gross world of politics. I hope you’ll reconsider.

  9. Ten bucks to Emily’s List

  10. This is wonderful…I live in Boston. I will be more than happy to hold up a sign …”I trust women and myself.” The world needs more people like yourself!!

  11. Laura Taylor Says:

    Thanks so much for giving us a wonderful place to unite!

  12. Marnie G Says:

    Thank you for taking a stand on such a sensitive issue. Too often thoughtful, well meaning women fail to stand up for their beliefs and thus let others decide their faith. Sometimes acts of courage are acts of kindness too.

    • Marnie G Says:

      Meant to say “decide their fate in my comment above” Also wanted to mention $5 was donated to Planned Parenthood of Va, even though I live in Pa.

  13. Jeri O. Says:

    Growing up, my dad used to tell me “…You know what’s right. I trust you and I trust that you will do the right thing…” When it came to important decisions he never really said, you can’t or you shouldn’t. But by saying that he trusted that I knew what was right, I worked very hard to live up to that expectation. Maybe by trusting women, by saying “I trust that you will do the right thing…” we set an expectation for women and they will rise to that level of trust. Maybe it would be the first time some women have ever heard those specific, important words and up to now have never had a chance to feel or to BE trust-worthy.

  14. charbatkin Says:

    I love the theme to your movement – “I trust women.” I do. I trust that most women make the best decisions they can for themselves and their families based on the information available to them. But as anyone who has lived or worked among the issues of women’s health knows well, it is vital to consider the sources of that information. Controlling the information allows those who care to, to control and shape decisions. Formula companies offering breastfeeding advice? Litigation-wary medical boards offering best practices on when to have a c-section? Obstetricians flaunting the hazards of homebirth? We strive to encourage women all of the time to educate themselves on these matters, and not just take the trusted “authority’s” word. Yet when it comes to the issue of abortion – an issue that concerns the ending of a life – women are to be sheltered from information. Many argue to shut down pro-lifers displaying photos of aborted fetuses – they are disturbing and upsetting. Are they propaganda? Sure. Are they mis-information? No. Most folks waving those graphic images are passionate activists, and that should be considered when receiving the information they have to offer. But most people doing abortions for planned parenthood are also passionate activists. Their views on the procedure are not just scientifically based, but emotionally based and wrapped up in personal freedom, sexual freedom, and politics. Their assertions that the fetus is just a clump of cells should be tempered as well.

    What it all comes down to on this issue, is whether a fetus is an individual with rights of its own. As our knowledge of science and the abilities of medicine change, obvious answers become not so obvious. What we’re left with right now is a situation where it is up to the mother’s conscience to make that decision. That decision is easy when the doctor tells you it is just a clump of cells. It is easy when a doctor tells you your baby will have horrible birth defects and only see suffering in their lives. But what is missing is the other side to that. What could be more objective than a peek inside at the actual developing human you are considering ending the life of? That view is a vital piece of information in the decision process, that will affect the mother for years to come.

    My mother was a feminist, a staunch supporter of abortion rights, who dragged me out to pro-choice rallies, and on more than one occasion informed me that if I became pregnant and abortions were illegal, she would fly me overseas to have one. I agreed with her views, and felt fortunate to have such an understanding mother to count on should something unexpected occur.

    Fast-forward ten years. I’m married and pregnant, and in for the routine 8wk, trans-vaginal ultrasound. I’m anxious, it’s awkward, definitely outside of my comfort zone. The technician looks around, measures some stuff, and then suddenly, I am dumbstruck. There, on the screen, is my baby. My baby. Clear heartbeat, moving around… decidedly bean-like, but my BABY. It was an amazing moment, where my little agnostic heart thought WOW – chalk one up on the god side! And after the pictures were snapped and printed, and placed lovingly in a ‘Baby’s first picture’ card, I had a moment to reflect, and to be utterly thankful to that god that maybe was there afterall, that in my younger days I had not become pregnant, that my mom had not taken me to get it ‘taken care of’, and that I could live in this moment experiencing the full joy of the new life within me, instead of the devastating realization that I had killed the last one.

    My mom, and the other activists of her generation had never had an ultrasound. She was not ignorant about fetal development, but strove to keep me ignorant – literally ripping a book I had been handed by a pro-life group that showed fetal development out of my hands. The stunning visual evidence of the life inside herself was not available to her in her decision making. But it is available today. It is available to women facing this decision – women I trust – but it is purposefully kept from them, the way my mother kept pictures of developing fetuses from me.

    I trust women to make their own decisions. I get that many believe the fetus is no more than a mass of cells. But I think they should be informed, they should see the image of that clump of cells, so that they can make the decision that is true to them. So that 10 years later, when they want a child, they aren’t clobbered over the head with information that could have been available, but was awkward or inconvenient or invasive. The information is there, it is profoundly relevant, and they should have it. The law isn’t against the women, it is against the abortion providers (who, by their very profession fall on one specific side of the issue), to insure that the mother is given vitally relevant information.

    So yes, I will donate $4.84 to a cause for women’s issues. I will donate that money to Project Rachel, to support women dealing with the aftermath of abortion.

    Trust women. Trust women with information.

    • Baby Momma Says:

      Awesome. Thank you. A woman will never regret NOT having an abortion.

    • nickysmiles Says:

      Thank you for this. I am very torn on this issue as most of my closest friends and mentors oppose the ultrasound. I feel that the ultrasound IS valuable, the procedure is painless (and not nearly as ‘rape like’ as abortion) and I also question WHY the visual moving image of their fetus is so threatening to women electing an abortion.

      Why does the visual image of the fetus you are about to abort upset you?

      Maybe the fact that the ultrasound would be so upsetting MEANS something. Maybe it’s information women need to have before they make an irreversible decision.

      I actually would be MORE supportive of abortion if I knew that a woman viewed her fetus on ultrasound and still felt her decision to abort it was right. I would actually TRUST women more if I knew they could face the real time image of their fetus.

      Any woman who can look at her fetus on ultrasound and still abort it is a woman who has truly made an informed decision.

    • Liz Says:

      Trusting women means trusting them to ask for medical information they need to make a strong decision. Trusting women means trusting that they will think through the long term repercussions of their actions, whether that means the repercussions of having a child in their current situation or choosing to have an abortion. The issue isn’t the ultrasound. The issue is that the women are being forced to have it. If a woman wants an ultrasound in order to make her decision (or an amnio, or any other test), then she should have it. The fact that the test is medically unnecessary and mandated by a non-medical professional makes it both preachy and cruel. I have had many ultrasounds, and I recognize that beautiful feeling you had. I also intended to carry both of my daughters to term. I can’t imagine forcing someone who has made an already difficult decision to look at that screen. Since I don’t know what

      • Liz Says:

        (Cont) brought a woman to make the decision, who am I to decide what medical information she needs? I am fine with informing women, or at least with providing women with opportunities to inform themselves, but I can’t stomach the idea of shaming them. I can’t imagine looking at that ultrasound and then not having the baby. BUT I was someone who was in a situation where I wanted to/was able to have the baby. What about a woman who really isn’t in a place where she can have a(nother) baby? I trust her to make the right decision for her situation and to access the tests/information/support she needs.

    • liz Says:

      Thank you – very well-articulated. There are groups whose mission is to set up ultrasound vans outside of abortion clinics and offer women a free ultrasound before going in. They say the results are remarkable – almost every woman who sees the image chooses not to abort. It’s not about pressuring women, it’s not about forcing one’s religious beliefs, and it’s not about bias. The photo doesn’t lie – abortion providers don’t want women to see the photo because they want to cover up the truth. Personally, I believe a woman is entitled to see what she’s really dealing with here, and I’d rather have a woman choose life early on than regret it years later. Very excellent post.

  15. Garden Pheenix Says:

    You have nothing but my unconditional support on this and KUDOS for standing up and taking part and trusting women. SO much love for this action ❤

  16. Amy Says:

    Donation made. Thanks for taking a stand for women!

  17. Alison Says:

    I usually appreciate your campaigns Patience, but I definitely have to disagree with the title of this one. I do believe women try to make the best decisions possible, but I don’t trust women (or men) because “trusting” them results in thousands of abortions every day. It’s why we have any law; people sometimes make the wrong decisions

    • nickysmiles Says:

      I admit I am struggling with this very same thought. My problem is that I don’t agree with the statement “A woman has a right to choose what she does with her body.” (as it pertains to pregnancy). In short, I don’t think that after conception she is dealing with just “her body” anymore. This is not a religious belief but rather a belief I have developed after my own struggle with infertility and seeing very early ultrasounds(as early as 6 weeks) of my children and babies I have lost.

      I think if pro-choice proponents could discuss what it is they truly believe is the beginning of life I could better understand their perspective. Do they think abortion is a tragic but justified killing of a baby….like a form of euthanasia? ( I am supportive of euthanasia in many cases) Or do they think that anything before 20-some weeks is not viable so abortion is not really ending a life? What do pro-choice people really think is happening in an abortion? I realize that answers may vary person to person but there must be some collective understanding among pro-choice supporters. My assumption is that they DO NOT believe they are killing a person….but maybe I am wrong.

      I hear many women claim to be pro-choice but also describe abortion as “tragic”…”gut wrenching”….”traumatic”…. And these same women feel that an ultrasound prior to an abortion would put the mother through “extreme stress and trauma”. If abortion is NOT killing then why would looking at a fetus be traumatic for the mother (other than having to go through a procedure)? Transvaginal ultrasounds are painless and fast and when performed by a professional they are nothing close to the experience of rape. An abortion is exponentially more invasive and uncomfortable and “rape like” in my opinion. Again, I don’t understand why pro-choice supporters are so against the ultrasound. Why are they so threatened by it? If you believe that abortion is NOT killing then what is the problem with looking at a “collection of cells” on a screen? The message pro-choice supporters are sending is very confusing to me.

      I am truly on the fence on this issue. All of my closest friends, mentors and people I look up to are opposed to this bill but I can’t make the leap. I am really having an internal struggle with this. I would deeply appreciate if anyone could offer compassionate (not cutting, please, I’ve received plenty of that already) words to help me reconcile this issue. I am really looking for greater understanding of this issue.

      Is abortion euthanasia? Thanks for reading.

  18. Sarah Says:

    To Shannon Gregory: no, I don’t trust all women to be knid to their own kids or babysit my kids or manage my stock portfolio (imaginary as it might be) or fly my airplane or perform my heart surgery or fix my car or represent me in a court of law, just as I don’t trust all men.

    But the major difference we’re talking about is trusting women with their OWN bodies, not with their children or my children or my transmission.

    Sure, not everyone makes the “right” choices (or what WE think are the right choices) with their own bodies, but we absolutely cannot legislate based on what we think other people can and should do with their own bodies.

    “Trusting women” in the way that Patience and Jen are talking about with this campaign is not about having 100% confidence that every choice any woman makes is the same choice I would make or that you would make in similar circumstances. It’s not even about trusting that every individual woman will make the “right” choice. It’s about trusting that 99.9% of the time, an individual woman has more information about her own situation than *I* do, and that she should have the ability to make choices about her own body, to protect herself. It’s about trusting women enough to give them choices and autonomy about their own bodies. It’s about giving women the choice as to whether they are legally forced to have a cold metal stick inserted into their vagina against their will. It’s giving them access to birth control. Any woman who CHOOSES birth control is a woman I trust to make that singular choie about her own body.

    I do not trust all individual women, all individual men, all individual caucasians, all individal African Americans, all Catholics, all Muslims. But overall, yes, I trust all of those groups to make choices for themselves, and I do not think we should legislate individual choice and freedom.

  19. […] Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo ArchiveAlso, a friend in Richmond started a Facebook page, I Trust Women, to upload photos in support of letting women […]

  20. Hill Says:

    We should all trust in God.

  21. Tacy Says:

    $5 to Planned Parenthood. Thank you Patience for all that you do. 🙂

  22. Karla Says:

    I donated to Planned Parenthood in Indiana.

  23. Cynthia Says:

    I am in Georgia but donated $5.00 to the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood in support of this campaign. Your dignified and courageous response to this dangerous, demeaning legislative effort inspires me. Thank you for all you do.

  24. Donna Says:

    Thank you Patience for putting us on the path to loving ourselves as the women we are and for holding the same space and love for all women. Because of laws and lawmakers such as these, we are not “created equal.” We are not equal to each other by law. This structural undermining of equality is not limited to women as we know. The best way to take apart this damage is to love and trust one another more than we do these laws and lawmakers. And to trust that those whom we currently do not trust, will demonstrate that they are willing to open their hearts and minds to understand that which they currently do not and to proceed accordingly with better legislation or a vacation.

    Also, regarding abortion…I know this is a delicate matter. It is a delicate matter for those who don’t want any abortion in the world because they may want every baby born the way they believe it is meant to be. It is also a delicate matter for those of us who do make the decision to have an abortion.

    As many of us know, there are no two pregnancies alike, Nor are there two birth stories alike. I would also venture to guess there are no two abortion stories alike. Abortion is not something women take lightly, whether you make the decision for or against it.

    It is not fair to categorize “abortion” with “carelessness.” I think those of us who have never had to make a choice, deliberate about whether or not to have an abortion should consider themselves very lucky. As the odds are already stacked against women, structurally and socially, not ever being at the crossroads of abortion may mean life choices that some may not, cannot make for whatever the individual situation, reason. It may also mean that you are lucky enough to never have a bump in the road of fertility, that you truly have been lucky. But your luck does not mean that others have the same road. It does not mean that we are all equal in these matters. In order to make laws about this, we have to consider ALL women and the infinite daily life possibilities they are in. Which is why we should not make laws about this except to protect the rights of women which means that no one has the right to carve our bodies up into parts and legislate on them. You have the right to choose not to have an abortion and may use your right to free speech to let others know how you feel and try to influence their decisions. But at the end of the day, we should take very excellent care of those who have made it to the outside and protect their rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness, to reach their potential and eradicate roadblocks to equality. I TRUST MYSELF. I TRUST WOMEN.

  25. I love this. Thanks so much, Patience! Any reminder to make another donation to Planned Parenthood is a check plus in my book.

  26. cynthia stemen Says:

    I trust women!

  27. Andrea Says:

    I donated $50 to Planned Parenthood. And yes, I trust women.

  28. cmcswain Says:

    This is beautiful. I am glad you trusted yourself enough to post this on your blog.

  29. Leslie Lytle Says:


    I have found myself powerfully drawn into the current debate on women’s reproductive rights in Virginia. This morning I was at the Capitol again, showing up to bear witness to the political process in action, to show my opposition to the bills my government is in the process of passing. As I walked home along Grace Street after helping to carry 33,030 signatures opposing HB 484, (the now infamous ultrasound bill), HB 1 (the “personhood bill), and HB 62, (which would prohibit state-funded abortions for low-income women even if the child they are carrying would have totally incapacitating deformities or impairments) to Governor Bob McDonnell this morning, these thoughts accompanied me on my journey:

    For most of the past twenty years, my work has been in the realm of birth. As a prenatal yoga instructor, doula, and childbirth educator, my role has been to support, protect, and/or advocate for pregnant and birthing women so that they have autonomy in their choices about where, how, and with whom they give birth. What I have learned from women through birth has also informed my worldview on women’s reproductive rights at the beginning of pregnancy. So the Virginia General Assembly legislation regarding mandatory ultrasounds (HB 484) and personhood bills (HB 1), and state funded abortions for low-income women facing devastating diagnoses (HB 62) troubles me deeply. The first bill would require women who seek an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, mandating a medical test that is not medically necessary and presenting an additional financial, emotional, and physical barriers to women seeking abortions. HB 1 gives a fertilized egg the same rights and privileges as a fully developed human being, setting the legal stage for pitting women against their own embryos and fetuses. I can’t even speak about the lack of compassion demonstrated by HB62. These bills violate the very same autonomy I believe so fully in for women at the opposite end of the reproductive cycle. This is why I stand with and for women at all stages of the reproductive continuum.

    Here’s what my years of working with pregnant and birthing women have taught me: it is impossible to stand in another woman’s shoes, to assume that I know what’s best for her. No matter how well I think I know her, she is the person who is the greatest authority on her own reproductive needs, capacities, and desires. I can offer information (offer being a key word here – not force or shame), help her explore her options, and then it is my job – in fact it is my duty – to step out of the way so that she may make her own choices. I cannot make decisions for her. To do anything more would be coercion. To do anything more would make me responsible for the outcome and not the woman herself. When we’re talking about becoming a parent, taking on the responsibility of raising children, what is important is that a woman (or man) takes on the full responsibility for her decisions, in order to become fully empowered human being. If I (or the state) make reproductive decisions for a woman, I am essentially usurping her power. And that has far-reaching consequences into the future of her life, and the life of any children she may bear. I cannot go there. It’s not my job. Nor is it the job of the state of Virginia.

    In my experience, women generally make very intelligent choices about their reproductive needs. In fact, years of working with pregnant and birthing women have taught me deep respect for the exquisite wisdom women display in making their own reproductive choices. On rare occasions, I can see that a particular woman is headed down a path that will not produce the outcome she desires, that her choices are not leading her where she wants to go. But then it is perhaps even more important that she be allowed the opportunity to stumble, to learn and grow from her decisions. Often that same woman will come back even more powerful in making choices for a later birth, because of what she has learned in a previous birth. Who am I, who is the state, to take that right, that opportunity for growth, away from her. I trust women. I believe they are the sovereigns of their own bodies, their own reproductive lives. To give the state sovereignty over their bodies is an assault on their humanity.

    The right to informed consent and refusal is a basic principle of medicine, and is a key component of reproductive health. Nowhere in medicine does anyone have the authority to force another person to have a medical procedure (trans-vaginal or otherwise). HB 484 and HB 1 stomp all over that principle, essentially allowing the state to insert itself into the intimate relationship between a woman and her health care provider. It also requires health care providers to go against a basic principle of their training: first do no harm. You harm a person as soon as you take away her power. You harm a woman when you perform a procedure on her without her consent. This is another form of assault.

    An even more intimate relationship, perhaps the most intimate relationship of all, is that between a woman and the being that is forming inside of her during pregnancy. It is not for me, or my state, to insert myself into that relationship. HB 1, the personhood bill, does just that. If passed, it sets legal precedent for situations like those women’s health physician Wendy Klein spoke of so eloquently today in the GA briefing room. Situations in which women could be forced to undergo procedures to which they do not consent, such as Cesarean section. Where a woman with a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy could be criminalized for seeking emergency treatment (along with the health care providers who save her life). HB 1 violates women’s humanity, their basic dignity, their ability to make choices that no one but they should have the power to make.

    I have held the hands and stroked the foreheads of women as they go through the very difficult journey of birth. And I will do the same, physically and metaphorically, for women who are going through the equally difficult journey of terminating a pregnancy, for whatever reason. It is not my place to make that very difficult decision for them. It is not my place to usurp their power. It is my duty however, to bear witness, to bring as much compassion, dignity, and respect as I can to the process of life unfolding itself in my presence. And that is what I will continue to endeavor to do, in all of my actions. I trust women.

    PS: My personal as well as my professional experience with pregnancy and birth also informs my worldview. I have been pregnant three times. In my mid-twenties, at the peak of my fertility, when the desire to a baby was burning a hole in my psyche, I terminated two pregnancies. These were not “lifestyle” choices that I made flippantly, casually. I was in a committed but troubled relationship. Both were birth control failures. The second pregnancy, which I initially welcomed, quickly exposed the deeply riven faults of the relationship I was in, as I grew to understand that if I were to carry this child, I would be parenting alone, forever connected to a man who was unable to sit beside me at the table of parenthood (and I say that without blame or judgment). It was a heart-wrenchingly difficult decision to make. I have grieved deeply over that decision. I have never regretted it. I cannot imagine the dynamic it would have set up between my child and myself, if I were forced to bring him or her into this world against my will. I trust that whatever energy, whatever being was seeded in me, understands that I made the right decision for me, for us. I trust life.

    Thank you Patience Salgado and Jennifer Joy Black for being the spark that helped me to find words for what I’ve been feeling with regard to the legislation now happening in my home state. It is so important that we have thoughtful, respectful conversations that help us uncover our common humanity. My abiding light in the darkness is that women, who have somehow been blessed with the responsibility for bearing children, also have the capacity to stand inside that responsibility – indeed are the only ones who can stand inside that space. I trust myself. I trust women.

  30. Linda Ongaro Says:

    I value America’s hard-fought battle and the resulting reality that women are individuals who have the right and innate ability to make decisions about their reproductive future.
    I won’t vote for any candidate for any office that does not validate a woman’s right to live as an individual without interference from government choices in matters of health and family planning.
    Thank you for this forum.

  31. […] terms of change, but it got plenty of attention) was a good feeling, but when I feel most depressed this helps me feel like I’m not a […]

  32. […] dear friend Jen and I started the I Trust Women project…learned so much through that whole experience…about myself and voice in the […]

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