New Planned Parenthood campaign “Not in Her Shoes” seeks to go beyond ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ labels [Video]

Over the weekend we highlighted new polls which show that Americans are dissatisfied with the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” and reported that Parenthood hopes to move beyond them in the future. Lots of smart people had interesting takes on this including Anna North at Buzzfeed and Amanda Marcotte on Slate.

If you’re like me, you assumed “the future” meant sometime in a distant fuzzy world, but in fact Planned Parenthood, being that fast-moving superstar that it is, released a new video today “Not in Her Shoes” that utilizes this new “post-label” strategy and better mimics ways in which the organization believes that Americans — especially young people — think and talk about abortion today.

Here at Feministing we have lots of THOUGHTS on this latest move that we will be publishing shortly. Suffice it to say, some of us in the crew are more convinced than others that this is a strong and feminist framing for one of the movement’s flagship issues. I for one am excited to see a bit of nuance and creativity in the national conversation around abortion and reproductive justice, but I’m not convinced that this latest campaign amounts to more than a pretty and polished way of skirting the issue. In the meantime, while we sort out our views and get ready to present them to you on a silver feminist platter, check out the video above and the accompanying site

Transcript below the jump:

Most things in life aren’t simple. And that includes abortion.

It’s personal. It can be complicated. And for many people, it’s NOT a black and white issue.

So why do people try to label it like it is? Pro-choice? Pro-life? The truth is these labels limit the conversation and simply don’t reflect how people actually feel about abortion.

A majority of Americans believe abortion should remain safe and legal. Many just don’t use the words pro-choice. They don’t necessarily identify as pro-life either. Truth is, they just don’t want to be labeled.

What they want is for a woman to have access to safe and legal abortion, if and when she needs it.

But when it comes to abortion, who decides?

Her congressman? Her governor? Her president?

Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. And they shouldn’t. Politicians don’t belong in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.

When it comes down to it, we just don’t know a woman’s specific situation. We’re not in her shoes.

Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider.

So the next time you talk about abortion, don’t let the labels box you in.

Have a different conversation.

A conversation that doesn’t divide you, but is based on mutual respect and empathy.

To learn more, go to

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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