Prof. Borgmann on the Challenges of “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice” Labels

The Deseret News quotes Professor Caitlin Borgmann in an article discussing a recent poll that found a historic low of 41 percent of Americans categorizing themselves as “pro-choice,” while 50 percent identify as “pro-life.” Borgmann states, ”The pro-life label is sufficiently vague and appealing sounding that many members of the public will ascribe to it, even when they would support abortion in many instances. And it suggests that people who are pro-choice are anti-life, but pro-choice people would vigorously deny that, so I think the labels are problematic.” The article also discusses some of the recent state personhood amendments, some of which state that life begins at the moment of conception. Although these amendments are controversial, Borgmann commented that they might be helpful because they “portray the (pro-life) movement for what it is. Anti-abortion is not about these incremental restrictions,” she says. “They’ve always been steps on the way to the ultimate goal of outlawing all abortions.”

Professor Borgmann has litigated reproductive rights cases and has also spoken and written widely about reproductive rights and given testimony before several state legislatures on this issue.

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