Contrary to popular belief, “pro-choice” simply means you think abortion should remain legal and accessible. If you think people should have the choice, even if it wouldn’t be your choice, you are pro-choice. See how that works? So if you support Roe v. Wade, congratulations! You are pro-choice! Welcome to the club.
|You think a person has the right to be in charge of their own uterus? High-five!|
Planned Parenthood, a known leader in the fight for reproductive freedom, has recently let go of the "pro-choice" label for a small collection of reasons, the most notable being that it "suggests that what a [person] does about a pregnancy is simply another choice like picking a red or blue car, thereby trivializing the abortion decision".
Another criticism of the pro-choice label is that it, well, implies abortion is always truly a "choice" when sometimes it is actually a necessity: "[People] don’t always have a true “choice.” Choice is only possible when [people] have the resources to select either option. When there is no funding for abortion or no clinic to go to, [people] don’t really have a “choice.” The opposite is also true. [People] who have abortions often say they feel like they have “no choice.” They don’t mean they were coerced; the abortions are their decisions. They mean that they do not have the economic resources, social support, or capacity to care for a child." (via)
I'd like to think that the reason many people avoid calling themselves pro-choice is for the aforementioned reasons; not because there is anything wrong or shameful about having an abortion, but because they feel that the term itself is a poor fit for the movement. But something tells me that the striking 52% of people who do not identify as pro-choice do so for the following reasons:
- Simply being ill-informed on what the term really means (as stated in the beginning of this article -- they are under the impression that because they would not abort, they are "pro-life").
- They feel that because the alternative to "pro-choice" is "pro-life", that being pro-choice must mean that they are "anti-life" (which is, of course, ridiculous -- studies show that in areas where abortion is legal, pregnant people are much less likely to die from back-alley abortions).
- They want abortion to be illegal.