Depending on who you ask, the terms pro-life and pro-choice each have their own diverse and subjective meanings. Merriam-Webster defines them as follows:
Pro-life (adj): opposed to abortion.
Pro-choice (adj): favoring the legalization of abortion.
However, ask any pro-lifer or pro-choicer and you’ll find that these definitions are limited. Both political stances are multifaceted and have evolved over time.
What is Pro-choice?
According to Planned Parenthood, a strong pro-choice organization, these terms are defined much differently:
“Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe that everyone has the basic human right to decide when and whether to have children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe it’s OK for them to have the ability to choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy — even if you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself.”
Directly below this statement, Planned Parenthood defines pro-life individuals as those who are mostly concerned with the life of the “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus.”
What is Pro-life?
While the term pro-life was birthed from the abortion wars of the 1970’s, the pro-life movement has grown into a thriving community of those who meet political issues with the mindset that all human life is valuable. Whether you are a preborn baby, a newborn, an elderly person, or someone with disabilities and special needs, your life matters. At it’s core, the pro-life movement is about the value and equality of all human beings. Google search the popular pro-life hashtag #lovethemboth, and the message is clear.
Also, despite being accused of being conservative and religious dogma, the pro-life movement is composed of an incredibly diverse population. The movement includes, but is not limited to, both feminists and atheists.
In short, better definitions of each stance, as they have evolved within culture, are as follows:
Pro-life (adj): the belief that all human life is created equal regardless of size, level of development, education, and degree of dependency. Therefore, taking the life of a preborn baby is a violation of the fundamental right to life.
Pro-choice (adj): the belief that every woman should be endowed with the right to her own life and body. Therefore, denying a woman an abortion is denying her the right to bodily autonomy.
Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon. Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.
Quick Pregnancy Facts
Gathered from the Benevolent Resources Program Booklet, The First 9 Months:
- 4 weeks after fertilization, the baby’s eyes and limbs are developing, and their heart can be viewed on an ultrasound scan.
- At 10 weeks, a preborn baby’s brain is growing rapidly, producing almost 250,000 neurons every minute.
- At 14 weeks, a preborn baby has developed enough coordination to suck its thumb.
- Studies have concluded that, at 20 weeks (and possibly much earlier) a preborn baby can feel pain.
- A preborn baby as young as 22 weeks can survive outside the womb.
Are the preborn living humans?
“Human life begins when the ovum is fertilized and the new combined cell mass begins to divide.” — Dr. Jasper Williams, Former President of the National Medical Association
“Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.” — In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization… is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.” — Human Embryology and Teratology
“To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion… it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” — Dr. Jerome Lejeune “The Father of Modern Genetics”
“To say that the beginning of human life cannot be determined scientifically is utterly ridiculous.” — Dr. Richard V. Jaynes
“To deny a truth [about when life begins] should not be made a basis for legalizing abortion.” — Professor Eugene Diamond
Quick Abortion Facts
Gathered from Guttmacher Institute.
- 1 in 4 Women will have an abortion by the age of 45.
- The majority of women who receive abortions (23-25%) do so because they feel the timing is wrong or that they cannot financially provide for their child.
- A very small percentage of women (<0.5% as of 2004) get an abortion because they have conceived from rape.
- Around 4% of women who receive abortions do so because of health-related issues.
Things to Consider
- There are no humane abortions. We can come to this conclusion by researching abortion procedures and asking ourselves if the same procedure would be considered humane if preformed on a post-born person.
- Abortion survivors are real. Their stories and struggles, resulting from their pre-birth experiences, are worth taking into consideration.