The pro-choice movement needs a new slogan. The one it’s using now is based on the same logic as that used by people who claim that wearing a seatbelt or getting vaccinated is their choice.
We argue that wearing a seat belt or getting vaccinated should not be personal choices because those actions have consequences for the whole society. It costs money to scrape your brains off the pavement. We need you to be vaccinated so you don’t transmit the disease to the rest of us.
The pro-choice position rests on the premise that there are no such public consequences of abortion. The anti-abortion position boils down to the religious supposition that the fetus is a sentient being, thus abortion is the equivalent of murder. The fetus is not a sentient human. That’s the crux of the argument.
Since the anti-abortion faction predicates its position on their calling to protect life, it is more fruitful to keep the focus on how we prioritize the life that needs protecting. This is where pro-choice finds its place in the broader movement for the preservation and protection of the earth.
Humans have the responsibility of regulating our population. Abortion is an admittedly primitive tool and we can diminish its use with birth control, which entails education, and, importantly, education that includes finer attunement with our bodies.
The purpose of shifting the argument to this ground and keeping it there is to keep our attention on our ecological dilemma, of which abortion is a thread, and to move our existential crisis to the center of the Overton window.
After all, it’s not “my body, my choice”. It’s our planet, our choice.