Social Question

Aethelflaed's avatar

What labels do you use to communicate your stance(s) on abortion?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13712 points ) May 26th, 2012

A new poll by Gallup revealed that 41% of Americans label themselves “pro-choice”, where 50% of Americans label themselves as “pro-life”. (At least, in a poll that only gives you those options. And those other 9% seem to have mysteriously faded into the background…) BUT, 77% of Americans think abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances, while only 20% think abortion should be always be illegal. So this would tend to suggest that there is a wide variety of ways in which people use the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life”.

So which term(s) do you use, and what do they mean to you? How does your position on abortion differ from others who use the same label? Do you use any labels other than “pro-choice” or “pro-life”? Does the label you chose reflect a larger framework that you use for other policies, and if so, what are they? Is your label more about the morality of abortion, the legality of abortion, or both? Do you find yourself using a label that doesn’t so much ring true for you, as work a bit better than the other options? And, any other thoughts on why the label(s) you use appeal to you (or don’t entirely appeal to you).

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22 Answers

Charles's avatar

Other things Americans think:

About a decade ago, 20 percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth.
About half of Americans realize that Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions.
In 2006 more Americans were able to name two of the “seven dwarves” than two of the Supreme Court justices.
More Americans can identify the Three Stooges than the three branches of government
About a decade ago, 20 percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth.
More than 50% of “young Americans” cannot identify Iraq or Afghanistan—the places their peers are fighting and dying—on a map.
A Gallup poll shows that 1 in 4 Americans believe we won our independence from a country OTHER than Great Britain.
Only 50 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find the state of New York on a map.

Sunny2's avatar

I could make up another label, but no one but me would know what it meant. I’m pro-choice, no exceptions. I get particularly rankled with the idea that late trimester abortions should be outlawed. That is a most excruciating decision a woman can make and is only done in cases of extreme necessity, yet, to uninformed people, it’s a battle cry.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t like either of the labels, Pro Choice or Pro Life. There is an element of Newspeak in both of them. Every sane person is pro life. Interestingly some of those that claim to be the most vehemently pro life are for killing the gays, killing people for drug use. expanding capital punishment, running down burgulars in the streets and shooting them in the back and calling that “Stand your ground”. The labels only serve to confuse and bumper stickerize what is a very complex issue.

I am strongly in favor of a woman having control of her own body. I am not in favor of forcing anyone to carry a fetus to term when they know it’s not the right time for them to have a baby. I am not in favor of abortion. Virtually every one performed is a tragedy to someone. But to cast support for abortion rights as being pro abortion is as absurd as claiming those who support removal of a cancerous lung are therefore pro organ removal.

What I am strongly opposed to is letting the regressives who now falsely call themselves “conservative” (more Newspeak) roll back the clock to the 1950s or earlier. I am opposed to coat-hanger abortions leaving women bleeding to death or dying from infections contracted in clandestine, back-alley “clinics”.

Blackberry's avatar

Even in the third trimester, if it has to be done, it has to be done. I think pro-choice is good enough. I’ll explain further if I need to, but choice is choice no matter the stage of pregnancy.

JLeslie's avatar

I say I am pro-choice, and sometimes use pro-abortion. Pro-choice to me deliniates someone is for woman to have the right to choose. Pro-abortion I use to demonstrate I am in favor of abortion myself, and would consider for myself depending on the circumstance. I have had arguments on fluther about using the term pro abortion. People seem to interpret that as though I would purposely run out and get pregnant so I can have the wonderful experience of an abortion. To me that is so ridiculous I was annoyed anyone can infer or assume that. As a side note, I have never had an abortion and started birth control at age 15 when I became sexually active, I have never been risky when it comes to accidental pregnancy.

A few friends of mine use pro-choice as a political term, but are pro-life, or against abortion for themselves and family. Other friends of mine say they are pro-life, but vote to keep abortion legal because they want it available and safe.

tinyfaery's avatar

Abortion on demand.

deni's avatar

I use pro-choice meaning that I like to let people make their own god damn decisions instead of forcing my opinion onto them. That is what pro choice means to me. Pretty straight forward. Pro Life on the other hand….lets talk about mislabeling

augustlan's avatar

I’m pro choice, and I think it means what it implies… I’m for leaving the choice up to a woman (and her doctor, in cases of medical necessity). The term pro life is kind of ridiculous, though. It sets up a false dichotomy. We are all pro life.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m pro choice as well. I don’t think we should all be forced to follow one person’s choice (pro life). After all, they are still getting to make their choice, why can’t everyone else get to choose for themselves?

Aethelflaed's avatar

I’ve actually felt uncomfortable with “pro-choice” lately. Not because I’m against choice (like @Sunny2 and apparently many others on this thread, I’m as pro-choice as they come), but because of the number of times in which someone gets an abortion and it doesn’t feel like a choice. Would pro-bodily autonomy work better? Because with that, you also get pro-birth control, pro-right to inhale pot, pro-right to die, pro-right to not be assaulted or raped, etc. But would people immediately know what I was talking about? Same with pro-reproductive justice – would people even know what that means, and how that differs from pro-choice?

Sometimes, when I’m feeling snarky, I use “anti-coathanger”.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Charles So…..... that’s, anti-answering the actual question asked?

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed I don’t think people would know, because the terms pro-choice and pro-life are such big part of politics and religion and our vernacular in America, that when other terms are used people kind of freak out. Like my experience with using pro-abortion. I don’t understand why it is so confusing, but it is. Pro-abortion—in favor of the availability of abortion. It seems so obvious to me. Anyway, it would be really hard to just use a different term and be understood; you would have to explain it I think for people to really get what you mean.

I personally don’t like pro-reproductive choice. Abortion does not jump to my mind. Some people will feel if it includes abortion it is saying that abortion is a choice like other forms of birth control. And, many pro-choice people try to reinforce that abortion is typically not used as birth control, but rather a difficult decision for a woman that is not the same as using a condom or taking a pill daily.

I like the idea of getting gender out of the whole thing and emphasizing a person’s right to have control over their own body, and that no individual can be legally forced to support another life with their own body systems, and at any time even if thet agree, can reverse their decision. The same way someone can back out of donating a kidney, a woman can back out of supporting a fetus.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie I’m always kind of baffled when people respond to the question of “what should society, as a whole, think of abortion” with “I’m pro-choice, but would never have one myself”. Ok? We weren’t talking about if each individual would have one, we were talking universal policy.

Or like if there are conjoined twins, and one cannot support themselves without the other, the twin with the support system has the right to separation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed It doesn’t baffle me. They may have a religious conviction that is very important to them, and they care how they are perceived, even if they want to protect the rights of people who do not hold the same religious beliefs or feelings on the topic of abortion. They want their peers to know they would never get an abortion.

What baffles me is when politicians say they are pro-life, why we don’t press them more to know if they plan on doing anything specific to take away the right to choose. When people state they are pro-life or pro-choice, it can mean for them personally, it isn’t clear. I know people who are pro-life who have had abortions. They actually vote pro-life, not just personally pro-life. They had safe abortions because us pro-choicers keep up the fight. They don’t put together that if abortion was illegal, they would have had to go to term with the fetus with no brain, and wait months more to be able to get pregnant again to have the baby they were trying for. In my mind having legal exceptions is not good enough. There would still be very limited availability in that sort of climate. The Catholic couple I knew here who were in that very situation, the fetus basically did not have a brain, had to drive almost three hours for their abortion, because you can’t get an abortion past 14 weeks in Memphis. Their family was fine with their choice. But, the parents are big time pro-lifers, the couple was afraid to tell them, but did, and everyone was very supportive. You can bet no one in their church community knows though.

Or, how about Mitt Romney? I just cannot wrap my head around him actually being for making abortion illegal. Do I believe he has always been against abortion as an option? I do. But, I also believe he meant what he said years ago, he wants any woman who chooses to get one to have a safe one, and so he was pro-choice politically.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ETpro Virtually every one performed is a tragedy to someone. It’s a tragedy to many, but ‘virtually every one’ is really pushing it. There are a lot of people who get them who aren’t really emotionally torn up inside.

rooeytoo's avatar

I say I think that every woman should have complete and utter control over her own body. Which to me implies that abortion, birth control, tubal ligations, etc. are included. I assume everyone else figures that out as well.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro I have to agree with @Aethelflaed there. Most women I know who have had abortions are not all torn up about it. Some of them regret it later, or think about it now and then, but most are just fine. Most are glad it’s over with, the pregnancy and the abortion, once it is all finally done.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie I would guess that they wish it had not been necessary in the first place.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ETpro Name one non-routine medical procedure people don’t wish hadn’t been necessary in the first place.

ETpro's avatar

@Aethelflaed Point taken.

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