Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman to make. You can’t make that decision for someone else. Nobody knows a woman’s specific situation—we’re not in her shoes.
January 16, 2013

Planned Parenthood Federation of America is out today with a new video illustrating how the pro-choice and pro-life labels don’t reflect the complexity of the conversation about abortion, and the way that Americans — especially young people — think and talk about abortion today. It highlights a disassociation with the black and white labels that “box in the conversation” and the fact that a growing number of Americans who might otherwise identify themselves as “pro-life” are in fact in favor of keeping abortion safe and legal.

The video, “NOT IN HER SHOES” comes as part of the organization’s effort to expand the national conversation about abortion beyond “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels.

“NOT IN HER SHOES” comes in advance of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision confirming a woman’s constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion, if and when she needs it, and without interference of politicians.

“The way that Americans — especially young people — think and talk about abortion has changed over the last 40 years,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a press release on Wednesday. “A growing number of Americans no longer identify with the pro-choice and pro-life labels that they believe box them in. In fact, many people who say they are ’pro-life’ also believe that women should have access to safe and legal abortion. Americans agree that abortion is a deeply personal, complex decision that should be left to a woman and her doctor, without interference from politicians. Instead of putting people in one category or another, we should respect the decisions women and their families make.”

Video transcript follows:

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.

So why do people try to label it like it is? Pro-choice? Pro-life? The truth is these labels limit the conversation and simply don’t reflect how people actually feel about abortion.

A majority of Americans believe abortion should remain safe and legal. Many just don’t use the words pro-choice. They don’t necessarily identify as pro-life either. Truth is, they just don’t want to be labeled.

What they want is for a woman to have access to safe and legal abortion, if and when she needs it.

But when it comes to abortion, who decides?

Her congressman? Her governor? Her president?

Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. And they shouldn’t. Politicians don’t belong in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.

When it comes down to it, we just don’t know a woman’s specific situation. We’re not in her shoes.

Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider.

So 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 you, but is based on mutual respect and empathy.

To learn more, go to notinhershoes.org.

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