Feminism F.A.Q.s: Do Feminists Have to Be Pro-Choice?

by | April 19, 2012
filed under Feminism

Feminism FAQs Title Screen

by Jarrah Hodge

It’s another episode of Feminism F.A.Q.s, where I try to concisely deal with some of the key issues and myths about feminism and feminists. To watch any of the first 3 videos, visit the Feminism. F.A.Q.s tab here on Gender Focus. Again, I’d like to say that I welcome constructive disagreement and discussion, either here on the blog or in the comments on the YouTube videos.

In this episode I look at the issue of why feminism is linked to being pro-choice. Some conservative women (for example, Sarah Palin) have dabbled with the idea of calling themselves feminists, but in addition to supporting economic and social policies that would increase inequality, they don’t support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Do you have to be pro-choice to be a feminist?

While not everyone will agree with me, in my view the answer is yes, and here’s why:

Being pro-choice isn’t about saying you’d choose abortion for yourself, or about thinking it’s a better choice than carrying a child to term in general – it’s about supporting women’s right to make the decision that’s best for themselves, and recognizing that restricting abortion endangers women’s health and lives.

I should note stats are from the Guttmacher Institute, a great resource for research on reproductive health in particular.

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