As the House of Representatives is trying to defund Planned Parenthood, American women have taken to Twitter to fight back with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.
On Saturday, Amelia Bonow posted on Facebook, encouraging women to share their stories of safe and legal abortions and rid the issue of the stigma of guilt or shame. “Plenty of people still believe that on some level — if you are a good woman — abortion is a choice which should accompanied by some level of sadness, shame, or regret,” she wrote. Bonow also wrote she had had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood center in New York and remembers “this experience with a near inexpressible level of gratitude.”
Her friend Lindy West was struck by Bonow’s observation that “the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about.” With Bonow’s permission, West screen-grabbed the full post and put it on Twitter, with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.
While the hashtag quickly gained momentum, with people sharing stories and other showing their support, it was also used by anti-abortion activists posting their concerns over morality and personal responsibility. Bonow, however, said she wanted to use the “privilege” she has to safely discuss her own abortion to challenge that stigma: “Silence from women like me indicates that we are colluding to this idea that we are ‘sluts’ and something we did was immoral,” she told Mashable. “We have to change the discourse to women controlling their own lives … I think it is time for women who have had abortions to be the ones who are running that conversation.”
The campaign has some solid precedents — not least a petition Ms Magazine published in their debut issue in 1972. The document, “We Have Had Abortions,” was signed by 53 prominent women, including Gloria Steinem, Nora Ephron, Billie Jean King and Anais Nin. The signatories were following the lead of 343 prominent French women, who also had declared they had abortions in a 1971 manifesto. Ms followed up in 2006, with a petition signed by 5,000 women.
Below are a few of the many voices surfacing on the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, from women sharing their personal stories and showing solidarity …
I've had 2 abortions. I don't have to justify or explain them to anybody. My life is more valuable than a potential life. #shoutyourabortion
— Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford) September 21, 2015
— A price above Ruby 💃🏽🐂☸️🌹✊🏽 (@Ruby) September 21, 2015
— This is not the alternate universe I hoped for. (@atliberalandold) September 21, 2015
— The Independent (@Independent) September 22, 2015
My birth mother put me up for adoption. Her autonomy was respected.
I provide abortions b/c I respect that autonomy. #shoutyourabortion
— Leah Torres, MD (@LeahNTorres) September 20, 2015
#ShoutYourAbortion is about dismissing the stigma attached to a medical procedure. It’s not about ‘glorifying’ anything.
— just barts (@_naomijosephine) September 21, 2015
… to others responding in outrage
The #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag is literally a movement of women who are proud of killing their babies. A new low point for humanity. So sad!
— Mathews Michelle (@TheMathews04) September 22, 2015
They can't shout their abortion because you killed them. #ShoutYourAbortion
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 22, 2015
Can you imagine living in a time where people brag about killing another human being?? Oh wait, we do. #ShoutYourAbortion
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) September 22, 2015
This tag #ShoutYourAbortion just encourages people that it's okay to kill your babies. Abortion is wrong don't @ me. Baby murderers.
— Simba (@Every1sAnOppATM) September 22, 2015
And in case some people needed reminding …
Read the full story at Mashable.
This story has been edited to include the information that Lindy West created the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.