It’s not exactly Shout Your Abortion, but it’s pretty darn close. The premise with the shouting crowd is “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.” That is what appears on the website. In the same vein, a Hollywood actress is using Twitter to protest the Alabama abortion ban. Think of it as Tweet Your Abortion.
The bill signed by the Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, this week is unquestionably the strictest of the anti-abortion bills in recent months coming out of red states. It’s controversial with both pro-life and pro-abortion people. Throughout the process, Hollywood activists and politicians weighed in on social media, as happens these days. The Tweetstorm is the idea of Busy Philipps, an actress, and former talk show host. She publicly revealed her own abortion story after the Georgia Heartbeat Bill was signed into law on her talk show. She was 15 years old at the time.
I spoke about my abortion on my show tonight because I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away. https://t.co/Vk4kh4ZBJq
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 8, 2019
So, Philipps launched her own campaign to encourage other women to tweet about their abortions. Like everything else on Twitter, there’s a hashtag. #YouKnowMe refers to the fact that while many people think they do not know a woman who has had an abortion, everyone probably does. She gave the statistic that one in four women before the age of 45 have an abortion. That is indeed a brutal statistic. She elaborated in an Instagram post.
“There is an attack on women happening in this country right now. I won’t be silent and I have no shame about my personal choice. I am 1 in 4. #youknowme ❤️ I know there is power in sharing our stories. I know it,” she wrote in an Instagram post that has attracted nearly 120,000 likes since being posted earlier Wednesday.
Philipps, who also advocates donations to organizations fighting “these draconian laws,” doesn’t cite a source for her statistic. However, a 2017 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, which focuses on issues relating to reproductive health and rights, cites the same statistic and says 23.7% of women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the age of 45.
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 15, 2019
Public figures weighed in.
I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me, and it wasn’t a hard one. My husband and I were working more than full time and had three kids already. I was fortunate that, at the time, accessing abortion in TX was not the nightmare it is now. #YouKnowMe
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) May 16, 2019
I am here and able to mother my incredible daughter because of the health- and life-saving abortion I had when she was three years old. #YouKnowMe
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 15, 2019
I stand with the women in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, and everywhere, who have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, as we all do.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 16, 2019
And, I found a politician with her own story.
#YouKnowMe. I had an abortion.
It was the best choice for my health & my family. While it was an immensely hard decision, I don’t regret it.
— Jackie Speier (@JackieSpeier) May 17, 2019
Actress/politicial activist Cynthia Nixon is a second generation pro-abortion woman.
Almost 60 years ago, my mother had an illegal abortion. It was too harrowing for her to discuss, but she made sure I knew it had happened. In 2010, my wife had a legal abortion after we found out her pregnancy was not viable. We cannot and will not go back. #YouKnowMe #YouKnowUs
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) May 16, 2019
All of the stories are heartbreaking. There is just something too coarse, though, about making a Twitter campaign out of it. To pro-life women and men, abortion isn’t normal. In the case of saving the mother’s life or other extreme circumstances, the decision to abort is understandable. Sadly, the abortion business is big business and treating the ending of a human life as normal dehumanizes that life. More emphasis has to be made on the options available, such as adoption, through the use of counseling centers, for example. By allowing Planned Parenthood to dominate on this subject, women are being taught that human life is disposable, with no guilt attached, and they are only the sum total of their reproductive organs. It’s time to expand the discussion. Compassion goes both ways.