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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.

The pro-choice and pro-life labels are confusing for a reason: They force people inlớn just two boxes for all their religious, moral, political, và practical beliefs on abortion. Still, a lot of people use these labels (like your fam). Below, we’ll nail down what most people intover when they say “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” plus our suggestions for better words to use when describing your views on abortion.

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Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe that everyone has the basic human right lớn decide when & whether khổng lồ have children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe sầu it’s OK for them lớn have the ability to lớn choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy — even if you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself.

People who oppose abortion often hotline themselves pro-life. However, the only life many of them are concerned with is the life of the fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus. They are much less concerned about the life of women who have unintended pregnancies or the welfare of children after they’re born. In fact, many people who call themselves “pro-life” support capital punishment (AKA the death penalty) & oppose child welfare legislation.

The black-and-white labels of “pro-life” & “pro-choice” pit people against each other, as if they’re on two different teams. But we agree more than we disagree: A majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal, & they tư vấn the right khổng lồ access abortion.

We Say “Pro-Reproductive Rights” và “Anti-Abortion”

To be more clear & inclusive with our word choices, we at Planned Parenthood say “pro-reproductive sầu rights” and “anti-abortion” to describe people’s beliefs about abortion access. The pro-reproductive sầu rights & anti-abortion labels leave sầu room for a variety of beliefs, while focusing on access khổng lồ abortion specifically. “Accessing” abortion means having the ability khổng lồ afford it, physically get to an abortion provider, và other factors that allow you khổng lồ exercise your right to lớn abortion care.

Pro-Reproductive sầu Rights

When you say that you tư vấn reproductive sầu rights, that means you support laws that allow people lớn access the full range of reproductive sầu health care —including safe, legal abortion.

If you identify as pro-reproductive sầu rights, it means you want to lớn keep abortion legal & you believe people have the right khổng lồ be able khổng lồ access abortion.

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Pro-reproductive sầu rights folks oppose laws that ban abortion, as well as laws that keep abortion out of reach —lượt thích laws that shut down health centers or that force patients to jump through hoops to get the care they need.


Using the term “anti-abortion” is a more accurate way to lớn describe people who want abortion to lớn be illegal. Many anti-abortion people don’t believe that pregnant people should be able to choose abortion under any circumstances, even if their pregnancy is a result of rape or if carrying the pregnancy lớn term puts their life in danger.

Anti-abortion people tkết thúc to:

Disagree with most medical authorities about the definition of pregnancy. They mistakenly believe sầu that pregnancy begins with the fertilization of the egg. Most authorities believe sầu that pregnancy begins when the implantation of the fertilized egg into lớn the lining of the uterus is complete.

They believe sầu that people should not be allowed khổng lồ use birth control.They want to overturn the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. In that decision, the court ruled that a woman’s right to lớn choose abortion is protected by the Constitution and that abortion is legal throughout the United States.

The Bottom Line

“Pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels don’t reflect the complexity of how most people actually think và feel about abortion. Instead of putting people in one category or another, we should respect the real-life decisions people and their families face every day.

Decisions about whether khổng lồ choose adoption, over a pregnancy, or continue a pregnancy should be made by a pregnant person with the counsel of their family, their faith, và their health care provider. Politicians should not be involved in anyone’s personal medical decisions about their reproductive sầu health or pregnancy.

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