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Notable & Quotable: Pro-Choice No More


A Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights, Ill., May 12.



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E. Jason Wambsgans/Zuma Press

From a Feb. 10, 2021, blog post by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. Politico reported on Thursday that the House Pro-Choice Caucus issued a memo to staff describing the word “choice” as “harmful language”:

“Choice” assumes that everyone can get an abortion, and someone just has to choose whether or not they want one. . . . Black feminists and feminists of color have pointed out that this isn’t the case: the legal right to choose to have an abortion does not always mean someone can actually get an abortion. “Choice” ignores the lived realities of people, especially Black people and people of color, who face barriers that are often compounded by racist and classist policies that keep them from the care they need. . . . Full access to care means not just the ability to get care; it also means that care should be respected and affirmed, without social judgments. Well-meaning folks often contrast “pro-choice” with “pro-abortion,” as in, I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion. But that’s hurtful to people who’ve had abortions. It implies that abortion isn’t a good thing. . . .

So what can someone say instead of just “pro-choice”? You can absolutely say:

• pro-abortion, pro-abortion rights, pro-abortion access, or pro-abortion equity—abortion isn’t a dirty word.

• pro-reproductive health care or pro-reproductive freedom when you’re talking about more than abortion.

• “I support abortion access” or “I’m a supporter of abortion access.”

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Appeared in the May 14, 2022, print edition.



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