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Extreme Makeover: Planned Parenthood Edition

What really motivates the surrender of the "Pro-Choice" label in the abortion debate?

by
Paula Bolyard

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January 28, 2013 - 9:00 am
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Planned Parenthood recently decided to jettison the “pro-choice” label. “It’s a complicated topic and one in which labels don’t reflect the complexity,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards at a press briefing earlier this month. Rather than replacing “pro-choice” with a new and improved slogan, Richards said the organization’s polling indicates a need for a more “nuanced” message rather than definitive labels. Planned Parenthood found that many of those polled rejected both the pro-choice and pro-life labels, saying their views change depending upon the situation, so the group says their new messaging reflects the shift.

In a video released with the announcement, a cartoonish Julia-type character tells us: “Most things in life aren’t simple and that includes abortion. It’s personal. It can be complicated. And for many people, it’s not a black and white issue.” (Technically, for the baby, it is a very black and white issue as far as his survival is concerned.)

After a lengthy lecture about politicians — specifically male politicians — having no business making laws about abortions, we learn that,

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 but is based on mutual respect and empathy.

The video then directs viewers to Planned Parenthood Action, the political arm of Planned Parenthood. At the site we find charts with surveys purporting to demonstrate the no-label narrative and stating that most people believe abortion should be legal. In the tiny print at the bottom you can see that the polling comes from an online survey.

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