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In the back alley
I think politicians shouldn't decide when a woman has to take off her pants and when she has to put them on - she has to decide for herself!
Ivan Kramberger

Pro-choice is a positive loaded label given to the political stance that is in favour of recognizing a right for a woman to choose an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. It is considered a liberal view, therefore, evil and murderous by those who oppose it, but a sensible and protected freedom by those who don't. It is also used for the political stance that is supportive of a person's right to choose whether or not to end their life through euthanasia.[1] While some pro-choice activism is based on the principle of self-determination, bodily integrity, and physical autonomy, others have a smaller scope by targeting factors such as incest, rape or fetal defects.[2]


Pro-choice could be considered by some as the antonym to Pro-life, although this is not strictly true by any stretch of the meaning ("pro-death" perhaps?). However, like the term "pro-life", it's an emotionally loaded term, essentially designed to vilify the opponent, saying that people who are against abortion are therefore anti-choice or against a freedom to choose. In fact, the "anti-choice" label is applied to those that oppose abortion.

Unlike what the right-wing propagandists may say, the position does not mean that pro-choice advocates think abortion should be forced on women. Nor are they encouraging women to abort or telling young women it is their best or only choice. Quite the contrary; in fact, it's the moderate position between forced birth (Ireland) and forced abortion (China). It's in that little word "choice" where pro-choice advocates spend their efforts. In general, they tend to favor accurate information, quality advice, and legal options in order to let women make the right choice for themselves. They also tend to think that acting before the pregnancy (ie., effective birth control) is the best option for all women everywhere; sex education and access to birth control, by reducing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, reduces the number of abortions. Despite this, the anti-abortion crowd generally also happen to be against these two things. Along with the moral that people have a right to life, they believe sex education and birth control can drive up sex rates based on the flawed logic that risk cushions encourage only more risk, thus it goes against their moral views. Limiting sex education and birth control (particularly Planned Parenthood, a popular option for both as well as family planning counseling and a multitude of other services that should help lower pregnancies overall), however, turns out to be counterproductive.

The choice must exist for women to have a pregnancy terminated in a professional, legal and above all safe[note 1] manner.

Pro-choice violence?[edit]

There is a small amount of controversy as to whether there is pro-choice violence committed to the same extent that fringe pro-life/anti-abortion proponents stoop to, i.e., murdering doctors and firebombing clinics. The anti-abortion claim is obviously that pro-choice by definition is "violent", involving the termination of a pregnancy, however, the definition is somewhat hazy. One side is committing violent illegal acts while the other side is committing legal medical procedures. Currently, while like every social movement some people get carried away, there is no evidence that pro-choice campaigners are engaging in such activities.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. The choice is really between a doctor doing it with sterilized equipment and tested drugs and some maniac in a back alley with a bottle of bleach and a coathanger.


Abortion articles on RationalWiki
Abortion - Abortion doping - History of abortion - Fetus/Fœtus - Crisis pregnancy center - Gonzales v. Carhart - Nuremberg Files - Planned Parenthood - Pro-life - Pro-choice - Roe v. Wade - Schlafly, breast cancer and abortion - The Silent Scream - Barnett Slepian