Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trust Women Week and the San Francisco Banner Project

The majority of Americans believe that women should have access to basic health care services and that decisions about reproductive health care including family planning and abortion should be left to each person.  But in 2011, extremist politicians elected with a mandate to fix the current economic crisis instead chose to divert the public's attention with policy battles about these private decisions. They have declared a “War on Women.”  The U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures have particularly focused on eliminating access to basic health care services and contraception as well as abortion, with severe consequences for the most vulnerable.

Banners on Market Street in San Francisco aim to spark conversations and to help build momentum and solidarity among supporters of women’s rights, equality and autonomy and access to comprehensive health care, including reproductive health care services. see photos:

During Trust Women Week, January 20-27, we will engage the public in a Virtual March, with MoveOn, to express their support online for reproductive health, rights and justice.

The Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign is a coalition of 42 national and local organizations. We include the groups represented on the banners: the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR), Catholics for Choice, NARAL-ProChoice California, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, and SisterSong/Trust Black Women[SY1] .

The main banner messages are:

·       Her Decision, Her Health

            Most women spend about 30 years trying not to become pregnant and only two years trying to become pregnant.  Whether and when to have a child is a personal decision that every individual has the right to make.  A healthy pregnancy is more likely for women who have access to basic health care services.

·       U.S. Out of My Uterus

            In 2011, a record numbers of bills were introduced or passed by state legislatures and the U.S. House of representatives restricting women's access to: basic health care services, family planning, and safe abortion care.  It has been called a "War on Women," Many women are shocked and dismayed by these attacks and want to send a strong message to policy-makers: Government should stay out of making decisions about what happens in my womb. I have self-determination, autonomy.

·       Fix the Economy, Support My Autonomy

            Many people are suffering due to the downturn in the economy, and are looking to our elected officials for real solutions. Too many policy-makers focus on whipping up divisions on social issues(such as restricting women’s rights) instead of creating jobs. Government has an important role in supporting and assuring the conditions for a healthy life. In these hard economic times, women's ability to conduct productive, independent lives depends on government support for fixing the economy, and providing the education needed to secure rewarding jobs and affordable health care, including reproductive health care.

·       Reproductive Rights are Human Rights 

            If women do not have the ability to decide what goes on in their bodies, then they are second class citizens.  Human rights describe the obligations of governments to create the conditions for all people to be as healthy as possible.  This includes respecting individual rights about our reproductive health and assuring access to affordable and comprehensive reproductive health care services.

San Francisco is Pro-Choice

            The majority of this country supports reproductive rights and feels that the decision about abortion should be left to the individual.

Partner banners:

Catholics for Choice

Legal Abortion is a Human Right: United Nations - BACORR

Freedom, Privacy, Choice - NARAL California

San Francisco Supports Planned Parenthood Shasta/Pacific

We Trust Black Women, Do You? - Sistersong

for background on women's reproductive health and on reproductive justice, see:

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