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Someone asked us: Can you explain what pro-choice means and pro-life means? When my family talks about abortion I think they’re saying “pro-choice” and “pro-life” wrong, but I’m not sure. 

Many years ago, "pro-life" and "pro-choice" were terms people came up with to describe themselves as being against abortion access and for abortion access. And you may hear these outdated labels still used today. But neither accurately describes those who oppose abortion, or people who believe that decisions about abortion should be made by the person who is actually pregnant — not the government.

Generally, people who identified as “pro-choice” believed that people have the right to control their own bodies, and everyone should be able to decide when and whether to have children. 

People who want abortion to be illegal and inaccessible are often called “pro-life.” The truth is, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal and accessible, and that politicians shouldn’t make other people’s personal health care decisions. There are plenty of people in that majority who feel abortion wouldn’t be the right decision for them personally, but do not want to stop others from making a different decision.

“Pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels don’t reflect the complexity of how most people actually think and feel about abortion. Some people and organizations, including Planned Parenthood, don’t use these terms anymore.

Planned Parenthood believes that decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or parent should be made by a pregnant person with the counsel of their family, their faith, and their nurse or doctor. Politicians should not be involved in anyone’s personal medical decisions about their reproductive health or pregnancy.

Tags: Abortion, Reproductive Rights, anti choice, pro-choice, pro-life

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