Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of abortions and a pro-abortion advocacy organization, has decided to abandon the "pro-choice" label in favor of a "no-labels" strategy. In surveys and focus group research, the organization found that a significant number of voters the organization would like to reach with its message feel uncomfortable with the pro-choice and pro-life labels.
Polling commissioned by Planned Parenthood found that 43 percent of recent voters identify as pro-choice and 33 percent identify as pro-life.
The remainder, 24 percent, was equally divided between those who say they are both pro-life and pro-choice (12 percent) and those who would not accept either label (12 percent). Planned Parenthood's new strategy is aimed at reaching this group.
"It's a complicated topic and one in which labels don't reflect the complexity," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said at a Wednesday press briefing, according to Buzzfeed.
Planned Parenthood Action, the public policy advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood, posted a meme to its Facebook page Thursday indicating what the new messaging might look like.
It says, "the labels of being pro-choice and pro-life are not so cut and dry. There is a lot of gray area for people who classify themselves in either category."
A video will also be released soon with the new messaging. According to Buzzfeed, the new ad will say, "we just don't know a woman's specific situation. We're not in her shoes."
Planned Parenthood made clear that the change does not represent any change in their positions on abortion, but is an effort to convince ambivalent voters to support their position.
In 2003, NARAL Pro-Choice America, another abortion rights advocacy organization, abandoned use of the phrase "abortion rights" in favor of "pro-choice." The organization changed its name from National Abortion Rights Advocacy League.
"Through our name change we are underscoring that our country is pro-choice," Kate Michelman, who was president of NARAL, said at the time. "It is the right name for this moment in history."
According to Life News, some pro-life organizations have also noticed discomfort among some with the pro-life and pro-choice labels and have also begun rebranding themselves. Some of the new labels mentioned are "anti-abortion" and "abortion abolitionist."