Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for Choice and a visiting scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, writes in the Washington Post that the Pro-Choice movement needs to change its tack. She says that the focus purely on women’s independence in making medical choices makes pro-choice advocates seem callous and indifferent to the life of the fetus. If the movement is going to regain momentum in capturing the hearts and minds of average Americans, pro-choice activists need to be willing accept the differences between early and late term abortions, and accept some regulations to limit the number of abortions that occur.
She supports this by contending that the pro-choice movement has historically demanded that the government stay out of any process that may affect reproductive freedom. She suggests that instead we should be asking the government to get in on the responsibility for providing education, prenatal care, and child care so that women can really have a choice. The system right now continues to add roadblocks to having an abortion, while not joining that process with an effort to ensure all women who decide against abortion can give birth to and raise a child in a way that is best for mother and child. The pro-choice movement tends to be the side that recognizes the disproportionate effect of this process on poor women. We now need to recognize that poor women should not only be free to have an abortion; they should be free to have a child.