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Can you explain what pro-choice means và 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 & pro-life labels are confusing for a reason: They force people into just two boxes for all their religious, moral, political, and 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” và “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 sầu that everyone has the basic human right to lớn decide when and whether lớn have sầu children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe sầu it’s OK for them khổng lồ have the ability khổng lồ choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy — even if you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself.

People who oppose abortion often call 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 điện thoại tư vấn themselves “pro-life” tư vấn capital punishment (AKA the death penalty) và oppose child welfare legislation.

The black-and-Trắng labels of “pro-life” và “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 sầu abortion should be legal, and they tư vấn the right to lớn access abortion.

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

To be more clear and inclusive with our word choices, we at Planned Parenthood say “pro-reproductive rights” & “anti-abortion” lớn 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 lớn afford it, physically get lớn an abortion provider, & other factors that allow you khổng lồ exercise your right to lớn abortion care.

Pro-Reproductive Rights

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

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

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Pro-reproductive 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 lớn get the care they need.


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

Anti-abortion people tover to:

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

They believe that people should not be allowed khổng lồ use birth control.They want lớn overturn the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. In that decision, the court ruled that a woman’s right lớn 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 to lớn 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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