Pro-Choice Quotes

These 10 pro-choice quotes will make you think. That's a rare and precious thing in an abortion debate, where the level of discourse is so low that having a real, meaningful discussion about the issue is usually impossible.

01
of 10

Joycelyn Elders

March For Abortion Rights

Alex Wong / Getty Images 

"We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children."

Elders made the statement during a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times Magazine in 1994 shortly after being appointed surgeon general of the United States by President Bill Clinton.

02
of 10

Katha Pollitt

"Young women need to know that abortion rights and abortion access are not presents bestowed or retracted by powerful men (or women)—Presidents, Supreme Court justices, legislators—but freedoms won, as freedom always is, by people struggling on their own behalf."
03
of 10

Kristin Luker

"Pro-choice and pro-life activists live in different worlds, and the scope of their lives, as both adults and children, fortifies them in their belief that their own views on abortion are the more correct, the more moral, and more reasonable. When added to this is the fact that should 'the other side' win, one group of women will see the very real devaluation of their lives and life resources, it is not surprising that the abortion debate has generated so much heat and so little light."

From Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (1984)

04
of 10

Ayn Rand

"One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e. the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living."

This is one of several quotes by the Objectivist philosopher and author Rand on the subject of abortion.

05
of 10

Germaine Greer

"Too many women are forced to abort by poverty, by their menfolk, by their parents... A choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives."
06
of 10

Frederica Mathewes-Green

"No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg."

Mathewes-Green later became a pro-life activist and noted that both pro-choice and pro-life advocates appear to agree with the quote.

07
of 10

Hillary Clinton

"I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion."

Clinton made the remarks as first lady of the United States while speaking at the NARAL 30th Anniversary Luncheon on January 22, 1999.

08
of 10

Aristotle

"(T)he line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive."

In Politics

09
of 10

Diane English

"If (Dan Quayle) thinks it's disgraceful for an unmarried woman to bear a child, and if he believes that a woman cannot adequately raise a child without a father, then he'd better make sure that abortion remains safe and legal."

The Murphy Brown producer was responding to the then-vice president's attack on the show when the main character had a baby out of wedlock. "Hollywood thinks it's cute to glamorize illegitimacy," Quayle said following the initial criticism. "Hollywood doesn't get it." 

10
of 10

Dennis Miller

"And by the way, my belief is that if men were the ones getting pregnant, abortions would be easier to get than food poisoning in Moscow."