By Stephanie Wilkes
What do I think ‘Trust Women’ means? There is the simple answer: trusting women to make the right choices for themselves about their own lives.
But I also think there is a more complicated answer, one that touches on the tandem issues that affect the debate over choice today, and reminds us that our work is far from finished.
Trusting women means giving them the chance to make informed decisions, equipped with the knowledge of and access to their options. Without comprehensive sex education and safe, timely access to reproductive health care, the trust we give seems pretty empty. We must remember that giving our trust does not exempt us from the responsibility of ensuring that the resources women need to make their informed decisions are available–and remain available.
In honor of today, the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I want to take the time to thank all those who put themselves, their lives, and their families on the line to provide women with the option of abortion: clinicians, clinic staff, reproductive health advocates and volunteers.
I have volunteered as a clinic escort in recent years, spurred into action by a stint at a local women’s newspaper. My experiences have been eye-opening, which is to say that I have been both inspired and disheartened. I have great respect for the volunteers I have had the privilege of working with and for all the other escorts across the country, many of whom engage in situations more dangerous than I can even imagine.
To learn more about the reality of clinic escorting and the actions of protesters, take a look at a these great resources that provide an intimate look at the experiences of escorts far more brave and far more seasoned than I: