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Anti-abortion movements are involved in the abortion debate and advocate against both the practice of abortion and its legality. Modern anti-abortion movements generally began as countermovements in response to the decriminalization and legalization of elective abortion in various countries.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in the UK was formed to "uphold the principle of respect for human life, in particular the life of the unborn child" at the time of the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act which liberalized abortion law. It was the first such organization in the world.
Many of the terms used in the debate are seen as political framing: terms used to validate one's own stance while invalidating the opposition's. For example, the labels "pro-choice" and "pro-life" imply endorsement of widely held values such as liberty and freedom, while suggesting that the opposition must be "anti-choice" or "anti-life" (alternatively "pro-coercion" or "pro-death"). The Associated Press favors the terms "abortion rights" and "anti-abortion" instead.
In Europe, abortion has been legalized through parliamentary acts. In Western Europe this has had the effect at once of both more closely regulating the use of abortion, and at the same time mediating and reducing the impact anti-abortion campaigns have had on the law.
The first specifically anti-abortion organization in France, Laissez-les-vivre-SOS futures mères, was created in 1971 during the debate that was to lead to the Veil Law in 1975. Its main spokesman was the geneticist Jérôme Lejeune. Since 2005, the French anti-abortion movement has organized an annual March for Life in Paris attracting a few thousand demonstrators.
In Spain, over one million demonstrators took part in a march in Madrid in October 2009 to protest plans by the government of José Luis Zapatero to legalize elective abortions and eliminate parental consent restrictions.
Anti-abortion advocacy in the United States is centered around the United States pro-life movement which started in the 1960s and '70s. A smaller movement is the consistent life ethic which started in 1983 and opposes any form of killing including abortion.
In Israel, the major anti-abortion organization is Efrat. Efrat activists primarily raise funds to relieve the "financial and social pressures" on pregnant women so that they will not terminate their pregnancies. Efrat is not known to do any other kind of activism.