Planned Parenthood is finding that the label “pro-choice” is too limiting and is searching for new language:
“I’m neither pro-choice nor pro-life,” said one woman in a focus group commissioned by Planned Parenthood. “I’m pro-whatever-the-situation is.” Said another, “there should be three: pro-life, pro-choice and something in the middle that helps people understand circumstances […] It’s not just back or white, there’s grey.” A recent research push by the organization found that large numbers of Americans feel this way — uncomfortable with both the pro-life and pro-choice labels. And so Planned Parenthood’s newest messaging will be moving away from the language of choice.
Polling conducted on Planned Parenthood’s behalf appears to show some dissatisfaction with the labels. In one 2012 poll, 35% of voters who identified as pro-life also believed Roe v. Wade should not be overturned (7% of pro-choice voters, meanwhile, thought it should be). And in an online survey of recent voters, 12% said they were both pro-life and pro-choice, and another 12% said they wouldn’t use those terms. When asked for their moral opinions on abortion, 40% of those voters said “it depends on the situation” — far more than called the procedure either acceptable or unacceptable.
So some people who call themselves “pro-life” believe abortion should be legal, and some who call themselves “pro-choice” believe it shouldn’t be. This could be stupidity or it could be postmodernism. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. But the view that refuses ANY objective commitment, that “it depends on the situation,” that is definitely postmodernism.
Can you think of other words and euphemisms that might work for what Planned Parenthood is trying to do? What would be some alternative language to “pro-choice” and “pro-life” that could frame the issues differently, perhaps in favor of the pro-life position? (My proposal of pro-life vs. pro-death hasn’t gotten very far.)