Friday, April 25, 2014


Pro-choice or pro-life? It sounds like a pretty simple question, however hear far too many people classify themselves incorrectly in response to this question. In a way, it reminds me of the multitude of atheists that incorrectly state that they are not an atheist, but an agnostic.

When I've heard people answer the abortion question, I'll sometimes hear them say something like, "I'd never have an abortion." They then feel that this answer leaves them wearing the pro-life label. But there's a problem here. They didn't answer the right question.

The question wasn't whether they'd get an abortion, but if they were pro-choice or pro-life. Answering the 'would you' question doesn't necessarily answer the initial question here. Yet, half of the people I hear calling themselves pro-life either cite religion, or simply say that they personally wouldn't get an abortion.

And when we look at the statistics, we see that a 2012 poll found that 50% of Americans consider themselves pro-life, while 41% label themselves as pro-choice. But is this a reliable picture of America? No. Because in response to the question of if abortion should remain legal, 68% agreed that it should. How can that be? 68% say abortion should be legal, yet only 41% say they are pro-choice? A 27% margin of error is hardly reliable at all. It is rather telling though...

Over a quarter of American's answer the pro-life question incorrectly, and thus adopt the wrong label. What these people don't realize is that you can be pro-choice, but personally not subscribe to abortion for yourself. If you think abortion should be a choice women should have available to them, you are pro-choice whether you would personally have one or not. In order to be pro-life, you must both not want one, and think it should be illegal and unavailable to all.

So why does this mislabeling matter? Elections. People tend to vote for candidates that they think share the same views as they do. This may mean voting for pro-life candidates when they aren't actually pro-life themselves. They may actually be defying their beliefs with their vote. And when up to 27% of Americans classify themselves incorrectly, that can be a very big deal indeed.

-Brain Hulk

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