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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” & “pro-life” wrong, but I’m not sure.

The pro-choice and pro-life labels are confusing for a reason: They force people into lớn just two boxes for all their religious, moral, political, và practical beliefs on abortion. Still, a lot of people use these labels (lượt thích 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 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 to lớn decide when and whether khổng lồ have sầu children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe sầu it’s OK for them lớn have sầu 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 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 gọi themselves “pro-life” tư vấn capital punishment (AKA the death penalty) và 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, and they tư vấn the right lớn access abortion.

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

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

Pro-Reproductive Rights

When you say that you support reproductive sầu rights, that means you tư vấn laws that allow people khổng lồ access the full range of reproductive health care —including safe, legal 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 —like laws that shut down health centers or that force patients lớn jump through hoops to get the care they need.


Using the term “anti-abortion” is a more accurate way to describe people who want abortion to lớn be illegal. Many anti-abortion people don’t believe sầu 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 to 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 inkhổng lồ the lining of the uterus is complete.

They believe sầu that people should not be allowed to 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 lớn choose abortion is protected by the Constitution and that abortion is legal throughout the United States.

The Bottom Line

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, and their health care provider. Politicians should not be involved in anyone’s personal medical decisions about their reproductive sầu health or pregnancy.