After years of tireless service to the women’s rights movement, it would seem that the term “pro choice” has outlasted its effectiveness. At least, according to its former BFF, Planned Parenthood, which is now seeking to distance itself from the term. “It’s a complicated topic and one in which labels don’t reflect the complexity,” said PP president Cecile Richards at a recent press conference.
Personally, I am not opposed to labels if they are clear and descriptive, and I’ve always found this term to be so. “Pro choice” encompasses not only the right to a safe and legal abortion, but the choice to have children as well, and the choice to take control of one’s reproductive health in general. I mean, who doesn’t like having choices? But many women polled think the label doesn’t speak to the complex circumstances of each individual woman’s life. It doesn’t mean they want to ban abortion in some circumstances, explained Richards, it just means that voters are finicky about language, or something.
PP doesn’t plan to replace this perfectly serviceable slogan with anything. But that doesn’t mean we can’t! Here are some potential new phrases we could use instead of “pro choice.”