Planned Parenthood Advocates Against "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice" Labels in Surprising New Video

"The next time you talk about abortion, don't let the labels box you in. Have a different conversation. A conversation that doesn't divide you, but is based on mutual respect and empathy," instructs a new video addressing the increasingly complex stances that Americans take on abortion.

Sounds ... pretty reasonable.

Which is why it might surprise you to learn who's responsible for the video: the almighty mother of the alleged "abortion industrial complex," aka the hotly defended and highly maligned non-profit organization currently facing dueling defunding bills in Congress — yes, that's right, none other than Planned Parenthood.


Planned Parenthood's new campaign, Not In Her Shoes, is part of the organization's effort to appeal to the rampant confusion and internal contradiction when it comes to abortion rights in America. As Jezebel reported last week, "[A]fter exhaustive research, Planned Parenthood is abandoning the limiting and confusing terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' in hopes of reaching more women who don't identify as 'pro-choice' but still support and need their services."

It's not news that Americans struggle with the issue of abortion. The recent election cycle is a perfect example: While some declared victory for the pro-choice agenda with the re-election of Obama, the candidate stumped by both NARAL Pro-Choice America's former president Nancy Keenan and Planned Parenthood's own Cecile Richards, the last two years have seen the highest number of abortion restrictions on the state level since Roe v. Wade. And there's little Obama can do about it, even as his Republican opponents (I'm looking at you, Paul Ryan), continue to advance the idea of "personhood" — perhaps the most confusing and controversial term in the abortion debate.

Planned Parenthood's choice to move away from "choice" will doubtlessly cause further controversy, especially amongst older generations who still remember life pre-Roe. But much has changed in the past 40 years. Addressing the state of abortion rights as they exist now, rather than turning back the clock to the 1950s, is a wise choice for Planned Parenthood.

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Sam Meier

Samantha Meier serves as the Identities editor at PolicyMic, where she writes on activism, gender, and new media. Sam was profiled in the New York Times for co-founding Sex Week at Harvard, and is currently working on a book about women and underground comix. Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, she currently lives in New York.

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