Sunday, February 08, 2009

On second thought... let's call it "reproductive rights"

Okay, I concede.

(Yes, alert the media. This is a rare occurrence.)

The term "pro-choice" is a little... flowery, shall we say. And, while we do advocate choice, A) there are other choices to make in life, so we're taking the word when it applies to a whole lot more than our cause (everyone agrees that we should have choices in life, right? So how can you be "anti-choice" when you agree that you have a right to choose what clothes you're going to wear this morning and what kind of sandwich you're going to have for lunch?), and B) we want women to have choices, but to give them those choices we need to give them education and access to the necessary resources, so the term is not broad enough to address all that this issue is about. (Which is my objection to "pro-abortion/pro-abortion rights:" access to abortion is not our goal, it is the last recourse. We just want to keep that option open if it comes to that.)

The issue is reproductive rights. The right to education about how your reproductive system works. The right to information about the different options available to you. The right to decide how and when you reproduce. The right to birth control. The right to information about all the choices available to you when faced with an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. (And, yes, if it comes to that last recourse, the right to a safe, legal abortion.)

So, can we agree on "pro-reproductive rights" and "anti-reproductive rights"?


  1. labeling our agendas "pro" this, that or the other thing is disingenuous propaganda.

    the same goes for labeling the enemy "anti".

    propaganda is important. you can't win without it. but it is still propaganda without substance.

    your post title has a significant typo.

  2. (Thank you -- fixed the typo.)

    Isn't that the way it goes, when taking sides on political issues? You're for gun control or against gun control... pro/anti. It may not be perfect, but those are the words we use when talking about things.

  3. i'm not saying don't use labels. i'm just saying that one should have no illusions about their true purpose. and, clarity, truth, sunshine and rainbows ain't it.

  4. And there's the problem with complex, difficult issues. It's nearly impossible to sum them up in a simple term.

    It may be "propaganda" to use the terms "pro/anti" but it's also useful and, well, necessary. Unless someone else can come up with new terms to convey someone being for or against something. Truth and clarity are part of the true purpose of these labels-- that of attempting to show what you stand for in a (hopefully somewhat) simple way.

  5. Honestly, I don't think that anyone is ever going to come up with labels for this issue that both sides are going to agree with. I really like BOTH pro-choice and pro-reproductive rights, but I can understand why people who are opposed to abortion would feel differently. However, as someone who is pro-choice (or pro-reproductive rights), I'm definitely not wild about the term "pro-life."