Abortion Stories Flood Social Media With #YouKnowMe Hashtag

Abortion Stories Flood Social Media With #YouKnowMe Hashtag

Busy Philipps started a powerful movement in response to Alabama’s abortion bill.


On Tuesday night, Alabama passed a law banning almost all forms of abortion in the state, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The measure would make the procedure a felony for doctors, punishable for up to 99 years in prison. The bill, which was designed to challenge the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, was signed by Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, last night.

In response to the restrictive bill, actress Busy Philipps took to Twitter to point out that one in four women have had an abortion in the U.S. “Many people think they don’t know someone who has [had an abortion], but #youknowme,” Philipps tweeted. “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.”

Philipps—who first spoke out about her abortion last week during an episode of her talk show, Busy Tonight—initially got the idea for the hashtag from Tina Fey, she told the New York Times.

At the time of writing, Philipps’s tweet has more than 2,000 replies, many of which came from other people who responded with personal stories of their own experiences with abortion. Users also retweeted her post with their responses or simply used the tag in their standalone tweets. The hashtag spread around Instagram and Twitter (on the latter, it became a trending topic in the U.S. yesterday), and much like #MeToo, it showed how many people in our everyday lives have gone through similar experiences.

While many voiced praise and messages of comfort with those who shared their stories, some also pointed out that women shouldn’t have to justify or explain what they decide to do their bodies. In anecdotes that included abuse, women had to reopen wounds or relive trauma in order to make their point.

Other celebrities also opened up about their own experiences with abortion, with and without Philipps’s hashtag.

Actress and activist Jameela Jamil tweeted #youknowme and defended her decision against male trolls. “A LOT of men calling me a whore and telling me I ‘shouldn’t have opened my legs’ and that I should have used contraception,” she wrote. “Not that it justifies my right to choose, but I DID use contraception, and it didn’t work, it doesn’t always work. It could happen to you, you utter clowns.”

Ashley Judd posted a #YouKnowMe graphic on Instagram and wrote in the caption, “Raped at 30, I terminated the pregnancy. Additionally, the rapist would have had paternity rights.”

Minka Kelly also shared her story, posting a collage of the 25 republican men who voted to pass the bill in Alabama. “When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus,” part of her caption read.

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When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus. For a baby to’ve been born to two people — too young and completely ill equipped — with no means or help from family, would have resulted in a child born into an unnecessary world of struggle. Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into. Forcing a child to be born to a mother who isn’t ready, isn’t financially stable, was raped, a victim of incest (!!), isn’t doing that theoretical child any favors. For those of you insisting abortion is murder, and to Rep. Terri Collins who said “an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and attention” — forget bringing up the mother might be in need of some “love and attention.” What do you think happens to these kids who end up bouncing around in foster care, live on government assistance because the mother has no help, can’t afford childcare while she works a minimum wage job, and is trapped in a cycle of trying to survive on the meager government assistance so many of you same pro-lifers are determined to also take away. If you insist on forcing women to carry to term, why do you refuse to talk about comprehensive sex-ed, the maternal mortality rate, free daycare, paid maternity leave? Our lives, traumas & family planning is for no one to decide but us. Certainly not a group of old white men. Speaking of men… With all this punishment for women I wonder where all the punishment is for the men in this scenario. By looking at the photo of all the men who are making this mess, I find it hard to believe that if it were the autonomy of a man's body, health and life in question, I cant help but be certain we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. I appreciate seeing men speak up on this issue – women do not get pregnant alone. Lest we forget, outlawing abortion has never stopped women from attempting it. @abortionfunds @yellowfund & @EmergeAmerica @emilys_list @runforsomethingnow who work 2 elect pro-choice candidates. #YouKnowMe

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Milla Jovovich opened up on Instagram about an emergency abortion she had two years ago when she was four and a half months pregnant. “I went into pre term labor and [was] told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through,” she wrote, adding that she had to take time off from her career.

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I don’t like to get political and I try to only do it if a really have to and this is one of those times. If someone doesn’t want to continue reading, you have been warned. Our rights as women to obtain safe abortions by experienced doctors are again at stake. Last Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a draconian bill into law that outlaws all abortions after six weeks — before most women even realize they’re pregnant — including in cases of RAPE OR INCEST. This makes Georgia the sixth state to pass such a restrictive six-week abortion ban, joining Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. These laws haven’t been passed yet, but lawmakers in these states are trying. Abortion is hard enough for women on an emotional level without having to go through it in potentially unsafe and unsanitary conditions. I myself went through an emergency abortion 2 years ago. I was 4 1/2 months pregnant and shooting on location in Eastern Europe. I went into pre term labor and told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless. When I think about the fact that women might have to face abortions in even worse conditions than I did because of new laws, my stomach turns. I spiraled into one of the worst depressions of my life and had to work extremely hard to find my way out. I took time off of my career. I isolated myself for months and had to keep a strong face for my two amazing kids. I started gardening, eating healthier and going to the gym everyday because I didn’t want to jump into taking anti depressants unless I had tried every other alternative. Thank God I was able to find my way out of that personal hell without turning to medication, but the memory of what I went through and what I lost will be with me till the day I die. Abortion is a nightmare at its best. No woman wants to go through that. But we have to fight to make sure our rights are preserved to obtain a safe one if we need to. I never wanted to speak about this experience. But I cannot remain silent when so much is at stake. #prochoice #prochoicegeneration

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From: Harper’s BAZAAR US

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