Over the years, there have been many calls (from both sides of the aisle) to do away with the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” The terms are “self-congratulatory,” over- and under-inclusive, devoid of meaning– really, the only point in their favor is that we’ve been using them for 40+ years.
Pro-life agnostic Conner Alford, who is a member of SPL, recently made this proposal:
I think that the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are both Orwellian. I think it would be more accurate to denote the sides as “prenatal rights activists” and “postnatal supremacists,” respectively. I’m sure the negative connotations attached to the word “supremacist” will offend those who support abortion, but if you ignore the emotional response it reflects their position well.
“Prenatal rights activists” works for me, and I understand where he’s going with “postnatal supremacists.” My issue with the word “supremacist” is that it is traditionally associated with race-related prejudice only; there’s such a thing as a “white supremacist,” but I’ve never heard of a “male supremacist” or a “heterosexual supremacist.”
Borrowing from the LGBT rights conflict, “fetophobe” is an interesting possibility. I know many abortion supporters who are in fact motivated by an irrational fear or disgust toward pregnancy, often expressed in terms of “parasites” and “aliens.” But I do not think that this describes the majority of self-identified pro-choicers.
Lately, “abolitionist” has gained popularity as a replacement for “pro-life,” largely as a result of the Abolish Human Abortion graphics on Facebook. I quite like this, however, the opposing term “anti-abolitionist” has not seemed to catch on nearly as well. Perhaps “abolitionists” versus “abortion supporters” or “abortion advocates” is a workable option.
What do you think? Are “pro-life” and “pro-choice” the best labels out there? If not, what should replace them?