Trust. Women. Easy to say and impossible for politicians to do.

This week Delegate Ben Cline proposed a “Day of Tears” on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, declaring that it’s now the government’s job to publicly shame women.

Luckily, there are a few pieces of legislation are up for debate in the Virginia General Assembly that put women in charge of their own bodies. These bills:

  1. State women have a fundamental right to access an abortion.
  2. Give women a 12 month supply of hormonal contraceptives.
  3. Allow women to waive their right to a mandatory waiting period before an abortion.

Here’s why each of these bills is good.

Women have a fundamental right to an abortion.

When making decisions about the health of my uterus and what goes on inside of it, I trust myself and my doctor. I don’t make decisions for any other woman because I trust women to know what is best for them.

The decision to get an abortion has nothing to do with anyone’s personal feelings about abortion. It’s not our place to enforce our beliefs on others or think we know what’s right for someone else. We may disagree forever, but it is ultimate a woman’s decision – not your decision to make for her.

It’s simple. Trust. Women.

Women get 12 months of hormonal birth control with one visit to a pharmacy.

Okay, I’ll step back from my fight that birth control should be available over the counter to whoever wants it and settle for this bill. It’s amazing.

Many hormonal birth control methods are taken every day. In the course of her childbearing years, if a woman decides to have two children and otherwise actively prevent pregnancy, she will use some form of birth control for three decades or more. I’ve been on birth control on and off for ten years. That is ten years of issues getting birth control, and I’ve got about 20 more to go. I know how to use birth control, as do nearly all women, and we should be trusted to have a prescription filled for a year.

Let’s say I know the pharmacy well.

A terrible health insurance plan required me to go to the pharmacy every month. (for some women, just getting to the pharmacy is a challenge) Before a three-week trip out of the country, I spent hours negotiating my next month allotment with my insurance and pharmacist. Before the Affordable Care Act (#ThanksObama), I could only go to Planned Parenthood.

All the in the name of birth control.

This bill is good because Honestly, just give us the damn birth control.

Women can waive their right to a mandatory waiting period for abortion.

It’s absurd that politicians think so little of the “Second Sex” we can’t be trusted to make decisions regarding our bodies. It seems politicians think so poorly of women, we must be questioned. It is literally a law that we must question women. To say nothing of institutionalized sexism, this impacts a woman’s right to health and health care.

This is also an undue burden placed upon women seeking health care. A mandatory waiting period requires women to schedule not one, but two doctors visits. That means twice as much:

  • Time spent traveling to a provider
  • Time spent away from work and the workforce
  • Lost pay
  • Money spent on childcare
  • Money spent on transportation to and from the health care facility

All this burden, just because politicians don’t trust women.

We must take laws off the books that require the subjugation of women. We must trust women.

In Virginia, I urge, request, and implore our elected officials to bring these bills swiftly into law and trust women.