I welcome comments and information on this topic (more than on the others, I mean) because, obviously, this is not my side and I very likely may miss something.
However, there is one thing we need to get straight first: pro-choice and pro-life are political movements. It's not about what you would personally do, or about how you choose to live your life; these terms are about politics and laws. Let's keep this in mind when we talk about what the words mean.
Being pro-choice means that you think the laws should let women make their own choices about their bodies and their reproductive health. In order for women to make informed choices they need education, and they need access to health care and contraception; so we fight for laws that help us accomplish these goals. Pro-choice is about giving women choices.
Being "pro-life," on the other hand, means that you think the laws should force all women to do things your way. That you think the government should control what a woman can and cannot do. You expect a woman to think, feel, and act just as you would, regardless of how vastly different your individual situations may be.
Being "pro-life" does not mean that you, personally, would not choose an abortion. It means you think it's right to force everyone else to do the same.
(I say this because I've had conversations with women who use birth control and think a woman should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy in certain cases, but they say they are "pro-life" because they themselves would not choose an abortion. If you think this way, then you are pro-choice. You agree you have a right to your choice, and I have a right to mine.)
Several things bug me about the term "pro-life," because I find it inaccurate.
First of all, it's a little silly. We're all "pro" life; being "anti-life" would mean you'd commit suicide.
It's also presumptuous. The main disagreement between both camps is whether that zygote/embryo/fetus is, in fact, a "life." That is exactly where we don't agree.
It's also untrue: the extreme right of the "pro-life" movement wants to outlaw any and all abortions, even the ones necessary for the health of the mother. As in, the mother will die if the pregnancy is not terminated. Her life will end. But the "pro-lifers" still want to make a law making that medical procedure, which will save that woman's life, illegal.
I think we can all agree that a woman is alive. I don't think there is a question about that: she is an undeniable, unequivocal life.
She, being born, and undeniably alive, has full inalienable rights. It's in the Constitution. And there is a whole lot more to being alive than merely having a pulse and breathing in and out. A woman's life encompasses many things, many of which could be in danger if she were forced to carry a pregnancy to term, and/or bear and raise a child. Why do we always forget those rights? That life? How does a potential being trump an unequivocal life, especially for a group that claims to be all about life?
There is debate about whether or not the zygote/embryo/fetus which could potentially* develop into a full-term fetus and be born is, in fact, a "life." This is a huge topic, so I'll address it later. (Maybe tomorrow.)
Sticking to today's topic, the names of these two political movements, "pro-life" should not be allowed to call itself that when part of its faction has such disregard for the life of the woman -- the one which both sides will agree is an unequivocal life.
*According to the American Pregnancy Association, "10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage." So, up to 25% of those zygotes, embryos, and fetuses will not develop into a full-term fetus and be born. (I assume this percentage does not include stillborns, since a miscarriage is defined as taking place in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.)