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

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

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Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe sầu that everyone has the basic human right khổng lồ decide when and whether to lớn have sầu children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe it’s OK for them lớn have sầu 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 Điện thoại tư vấn 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 sầu 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) và oppose child welfare legislation.

The black-and-White labels of “pro-life” and “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, and they support the right to access abortion.

We Say “Pro-Reproductive sầu Rights” & “Anti-Abortion”

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

Pro-Reproductive Rights

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

If you identify as pro-reproductive rights, it means you want khổng lồ keep abortion legal & you believe sầu people have the right khổng lồ be able lớn 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 khổng lồ describe people who want abortion to lớn be illegal. Many anti-abortion people don’t believe that pregnant people should be able lớn choose abortion under any circumstances, even if their pregnancy is a result of rape or if carrying the pregnancy khổng lồ term puts their life in danger.

Anti-abortion people tover 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 that pregnancy begins when the implantation of the fertilized egg inlớn the lining of the uterus is complete.

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

The Bottom Line

“Pro-choice” & “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 lớn choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or continue a pregnancy should be made by a pregnant person with the counsel of their family, their faith, & their health care provider. Politicians should not be involved in anyone’s personal medical decisions about their reproductive sầu health or pregnancy.