I have written previously about how “pro-choice” lacks the power of “pro-life,” and Planned Parenthood has apparently come to the same conclusion. On hearing the On the Media piece, I immediately thought that “pro-freedom” would be a good alternative. Conservatives love “freedom,” so they would find this term more compelling.
A quick Google search revealed that I am not the first to propose the “pro-freedom” description. Katie Roiphe proposes it in the essay “Good Riddance, ‘Pro-Choice’” at Slate. She writes
“Freedom” is at least a more expansive word than “choice,” with glimmers of promise, of possibility, of amber waves of grain; it has a patriotic undertone that might appeal to those confused people who do believe in at least a limited right to abortion but won’t call themselves “pro-choice,” because “choice” seems to belong to a pampered elite.I recommend her essay and won’t try to recapitulate her ideas here.
Whatever the deficiencies of “pro-choice,” it is firmly associated with choices in a particular context. Any neologism that isn’t explicit as to context will need some time to become established; “Pro-choice” will be hard to displace.
For whatever it’s worth, I’ll suggest one other possible choice—“pro-woman.” This may actually be a more honest term and counters the pro-life position, which might be characterized as pro-baby and anti-woman.