Planned Parenthood quietly abandons term ‘pro-choice’

Sounds too frivolous

2860_78220922074_203667_aThe following comes from a January 11 story on Jill

Pro-lifers have always disdained the term “pro-choice,” because it is intentionally ambiguous. It lets abortion supporters off the hook.

Now, apparently even “pro-choice” has become radioactive.

On January 9, with carefully controlled fanfare (no press release, hand-picked reporters), Planned Parenthood announced it was abandoning the term “pro-choice.” From Buzz Feed:

“Pro-choice” isn’t as misleading, but it doesn’t have the same strong ring to it as “pro-life,” either. Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens spoke about the problematic use of “choice” at a press briefing Wednesday, explaining how women once had way fewer choices than they do today. Now, she said, maybe “‘choice’ as word sounds frivolous.”

“Pro-choice” has certainly been taking more and more of a beating in polls. This year a record low 41% of Americans said they considered themselves “pro-choice” in Gallup’s annual survey.

This is not necessarily because people are abandoning abortion support, says PP. It is because people are confused about the terminology.  Explains Jezebel:

When Planned Parenthood polled Americans to figure out how they felt about the labels, the results were confusing, because people found the labels confusing: for example, in one 2012 poll, 35% of voters who identified as pro-life also said they didn’t think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In another, 12% of online survey takers said they were both pro-life and pro-choice, while another 12% didn’t want to use those terms, and 40% said “it depends on the situation” when asked about their moral opinions on abortion.

Actually, some pro-lifers have been drawing a similar conclusion, as I’ve mentioned before.

To clarify terms and also keep abortion in the spotlight, “we are moving away from using ‘pro-life’ to ‘anti-abortion’ or ‘abortion abolitionist,’” wrote Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, to me in an email.

“They don’t want the word abortion to be used, and we want to keep putting it in their face,” added Hawkins. “Anti-drunk driving groups aren’t pro-sober driver groups. Anti-smoking groups are pro-clean air groups.” (Also read this new manifesto by Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger.)

But as elements of the pro-life movement aim for more specificity, PP will aim for even less, trying to reshift an already shifty debate away from its prized morally relativist term, which, thanks to pro-life efforts is no longer relativist but negative, to morally relativist dialogue.

“And so Planned Parenthood’s newest messaging will be moving away from the language of choice,” announced Buzz Feed, adding:

Rather than selecting a new term to replace “pro-choice,” Planned Parenthood hopes to move beyond such terms entirely and present abortion as something too complicated to be divided into two sides. A soon-to-be-released Planned Parenthood video takes this new approach, casting labels like pro-life and pro-choice as limiting and abortion as a complex and personal decision. “We just don’t know a woman’s specific situation,” says the ad (not yet online). “We’re not in her shoes.”

To read entire story, click here.



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  1. John Smith says:

    It may partially be the fruit of opposition to Partial Birth Abortion. At the time PBA was becoming known, “Pro-Choice” had stolen all the thunder. I could tell something was going on in the late 90s, when there was an abortion facility on Alhambra Blvd. in Sacramento (across from McKinley Park). I had a small PBA sign, the one with the suction hose being inserted into the base of the spine, with the legend, “The Doctor Sucks the Baby’s Brains Out”. On a day with a lot of counter protesters, I was told that, after viewing the sign, a Police Officer lost his cookies in the bushes.

  2. yes, there’s nothing like a name change in the new year to make everything hunky-dory…

  3. i wonder what new phrase they will embrace?

    - pro-kill?
    - pro-death?
    - anti-baby?
    - let’sgetridofanybodywho’snotconvenientforus?

  4. Really, do they think that changing the name will change what happens during this procedure? Do they think if they have a flashy name people will buy it? Maybe they want to change it from Pro-choice because it sounds so selfish. Maybe they can change it to “It’s only about ME” and get right to the point! Most holy Mother in Heaven pray for us.

  5. Tom Byrne says:

    Even the very wicked can not still the voice of conscience forever or completely. As for their proposed video: the pro-aborts have been backing away from rational debate on the ethics of abortion since the mid-1970s. So NOW who doesn’t want to face facts?

    The medical and life science professionals among us (I am just a chemistry teacher, so that’s not me) have a big opening with this retreat. Take it, please!

  6. It does not matter what PP calls the new campaign it still comes down to choosing to abort, kill, your unborn child. It is choosing your life over the life of your unborn baby. Sure there may be pressure from the male involved, from family, friends,and maybe even your doctor, but it all comes down to the woman’s choice. It is snuffing out the life of a God given soul. Lord have mercy on all involved.

  7. Maybe they will some day use the accurate word for “choice”, which is “murder”, hence, “pro-murder” … or even “pro-heinous sin against God and man, woman, children and babies, and all of nature”.

    • Kell Brigan, Carmichael CA says:

      And, how many people do you think you’ve convinced to change their minds with that bit of childish self-indulgence?

      • Sorry Kell, but you’ve imputed motives to Skai that, to this reader, tell us more about you than about him. That abortion is murder is hard to deny, other than to say that unborn life is not “meaningful” life and therefore the murder is not “meaningful” either. I am searching his words for this supposed “self-indulgence” you so easily detect and find, to the contrary, see passionate argumentation which could only be called “self-indulgence” by a most distorted logic. If I am missing something, do tell.

      • Kell, the point is that Jesus is the light of the world, and as Adam before Him, named the creatures. That is what I’m doing. If you can’t stand the light, then get rid of your darkness. BTW, looks like you bit on the bait I set for you.

  8. I don’t think it is a good idea to allow PP to back away from their “choice” change. I think we pro-lifers should make certain that our position is clear, that we are FOR life, and not anti anything. Being anti is a negative, so, we ought to continue to use “Pro-Choice = Pro Abortion” and acknowledge that being Pro-Life covers Life at ever stage and in every way. That is the strength of our position, being a positive element in that arena. No mincing of words or trying to finesse our way out of something. If Mother Teresa can leave the safety of her convent to administer to the poorest of the poor, so can we follow that example and allow ourselves to be completely Pro-Life, no safety but in God alone. He is the One who strengthens us, and makes us free to do battle. Put on that armor for His Glory, and we can’t lose. Winning already!

    • A millstone around the neck, cast into the sea, those who corrupt His little ones We love the sinner, but He sounds very angry.

  9. If it acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s still murder.

  10. I really like “abortion abolitionist”
    That is what we are trying to do, abolish abortion.

  11. goodcause says:

    A rose by any other name is still a rose… abortion by any other name is still an abortion. Semantics is not the issue. PP is grasping to find some positive way of communicating support for abortion because women under the term “pro choice” includes those women who “CHOOSE to keep their baby”, hardly the message PP wants to showcase.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Most of us in the front lines don’t really care what you call, just so you join us in the Front Lines at the Killing Centers!

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Not only is PP going to drop the word “pro-choice” but they are also going to start calling their “clinics” “health centers”. So your choice of words “Killing Centers” works quite well. Every pro-lifer should start referring to them as “Killing Centers”, if they aren’t already doing so in order to be ahead of the word game.

  13. Now that we informed that those who espouse killing babies would like to change their identification of “pro-choice” to who-knows-what now, then I’d like to address a related issue here in the baby-murdering arena. Pro-lifers follow along the abortions’ terminology with the term “abortion provider/” Why on God’s good earth do we go along with them? I questioned Joseph Scheidler once about this in an e-mail and oddly, he answered back that it was an appropriate term to use… my question is WHY do we go-along and use this term of “abortion provider” when it sounds oh so acceptable? It is well time to end using the name of ‘abortion provider.” ..And “abortion providers” provide “services” ????? A-hem! Does anyone else see this?

  14. I really liked the “Pro-Choice” but they never asked the child to choose! Walk for Life Sat Jan 26th 12:30 San Francisco Choose to be there……JMJ pray for us…Amen

    • 70% of women who abort do so because they feel like they have no choice.

      • That is because PP doesn’t tell them they can choose life! It’s all about the money. PP does not care about the health of women, cause if they did they would not put these womens bodies, minds and souls in such jepardy and risk!

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