Abortion Stories Flood Social Media With #YouKnowMe Hashtag


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.


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.


From: Harper’s BAZAAR US