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Reproductive Freedom

We're All "Pro-Life"


Pop quiz, fellow progressives: how do you refer to the two sides of the abortion debate?

Did you say "pro-life" and "pro-choice"? Those are the terms I generally use when talking about the issue too. And, as I was reminded by a conversation between colleagues this morning, it doesn't make much sense.

In reality, people who are against reproductive rights don't have a monopoly on being pro-life. As a colleague of mine said this morning, "We're all pro-life."

I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find somebody who really thinks there should be more abortions. Progressives, conservatives, moderates, people of no political persuasion whatsoever: I think we're all agreed there.

You'll hear right-wingers sometimes refer to the pro-choice movement as the "pro-abortion" movement, which is, for the reasons mentioned above, ridiculous. (Again: find me the person — anywhere, ever — who actually thinks abortion is a good thing.)

I Googled certain ways of stating the positions to see how often they crop up on the internet, and found the results interesting. "Pro-life" and "pro-abortion" definitely win out over "pro-choice" and "anti-choice": 

Pro-life: 6,750,000

Pro-abortion: 903,000

Pro-choice: 3,640,000

Anti-choice: 458,000

So, two questions.

Do you think progressives should reclaim the term "pro-life" and refer to people who don't believe in abortion rights as "anti-choice"?

Second: if you are familiar with the way a non-English speaking country talks about reproductive rights — if they're fortunate enough to have the freedom to discuss these things in public — how would you translate the phrases they use to discuss it?

Let me know at [email protected].