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Document reveals how pro-abortion movement came up with term “pro-choice”

by | Apr 12, 2021

By Sarah Terzo

In a memorandum from the early pro-abortion advocacy group The Association for the Study of Abortion, the term “pro-choice” was proposed and reasons were given for why the pro-abortion movement should adopt it as a slogan. 

The organization was trying to come up with a slogan to match “right to life” which pro-lifers had adopted. The memorandum says:

“The alternatives seem to be Freedom of Conscience and Right to Choose. I hope someone can think of a clearly better one but, in the meantime, let me say why I think the latter preferable. There are two reasons – the first superficial, the second, less so.

a. Right to Life is short, catchy, and is composed of monosyllabic words (an important consideration in English). We need something comparable – Right to Choose would seem to do the job.

b. More important, though, is the fact that conscience is an internal matter while choice has to do with action – and it is action we are concerned with.

Memorandum of the Association for the Study of Abortion, Jimmye Kimmey “Right to Choose Memorandum,” December 1972

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.

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