Letters & Op-Eds 2014

On Abortion, Words Are Weapons

To the Editor:

Re “Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message” (news article, July 29): As a lifetime advocate for women’s health, I fear that your article may give rise to a misperception about the reality of abortion rights advocacy by highlighting the campaign strategy of one organization, Planned Parenthood.

I grew up before abortion became legal and when birth control pills were first being introduced, though illegal for unmarried women in many states. It is quite clear to me that a woman’s ability to create her own destiny is a pro-choice issue. I am not alone.

Advocates across the spectrum of labels, whether reproductive health, rights or justice groups, agree that women’s right to make the critical decisions about whether, when and how to form their families simply cannot be divorced from the reality of how those choices affect their autonomy and health.

Election cycle messaging campaigns, whatever they may be, cannot obscure this simple fact: If you will not say that you are in favor of choice, you are no advocate for women’s health and lives.

Washington, July 29, 2014

The writer is board chairwoman of Catholics for Choice.

Catholics for Choice