Abortion's grim reality may explain 'pro-choice' label drop

A woman looks at a sonogram image of her unborn baby. Credit: Katy Senour/CNA.

Abortion advocates' recent shift away from the term “pro-choice” could be due to improving medicine and technology showing the harsh reality and effects of the procedure.

“Health is a popular buzz word for abortionists, but is much weakened as medical science shows women's health is harmed by abortion,” Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, told CNA.

A July 28 article in the New York Times detailed how abortion rights activists are beginning to change the pro-choice label to more vague terminology, saying that they do not want to limit the abortion spectrum to the term. The issue has been transferred to the general labels of “women's health” and “economic security,” but advocates have still not found a suitable alternative name.

Yoest believes that abortion rights supporters are seeking another term as they are working to normalize abortion by creating the misconception that – since it is publicly funded – abortion is healthcare.

“The abortion industry is moving from choice to coercion, changing their strategy from mainstream abortion in culture to integrating it into healthcare,” she said.

Planned Parenthood released a video in January 2013 promoting the change in terms, called “Not In Her Shoes.” This production discussed how abortion advocates do not want to be limited to the pro-choice label because they hold that the issue encompasses more than just a choice.

However, pro-life activists see this shift as a victory, noting that after a 40-year battle, abortion advocates are needing to change their strategy. Advances in medical science and technology have also been viewed as dismantling abortion advocates' cause.  

“Thanks to the miracle of the ultrasound, generations are able to see what the abortionist's 'choice' is – the death of an unborn child. And thanks to a growing body of medical research, we know that 'choice' hurts women as well,” Yoest said.

According to the Times, various polls have shown that many women – when asked if they are pro-life or pro-choice – will answer pro-life, even if they supported the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S.

“As exposure to the horror of abortion grows, more and more people identify as pro-life based on their concern for both mother and child,” Yoest noted.

“Today, the abortion industry has moved from 'choice' to coercion, attempting to use the force of government to force compliance with an abortion agenda, or face dire consequences.”  

Yoest added that Americans are increasingly aware of this phenomenon, and that it is making them rethink what the term “pro-choice” really means.

“Pregnancy is not a disease 'cured' by the death of a child,” she reflected. “Real health care respects life.”


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