Society and Culture
Women Challenge Abortion Stigma on Social Media Using #ShoutYourAbortion
A recent survey from the Public Library of Science found that 95 percent of women who have had an abortion don’t regret their choice. However, rarely is that choice ever advertised out of fear of public scrutiny and harassment. That may soon change. A new trending hashtag is combating the stigma of abortions by encouraging women to share their stories on social media using the #ShoutYourAbortion.
It all started when Seattle writer Amelia Bonow mustered the courage to share her experience having an abortion on Facebook. She was inspired after hearing about Republicans in Congress attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, and felt a need to act.
She told Vice that after writing the post she texted her friend, writer Lindy West, about it, and West took a screen-shot of her post and tweeted it to her more than 60,000 followers with their agreed hashtag #shoutyourabortion.
— Lindy West (@thelindywest) September 19, 2015
Women quickly began reacting to the tweet by favoriting it and even sharing their own abortion stories highlighting the impact their decision had on their lives. Here are some of the stories women bravely shared using the hashtag:
My abortion was in ’10 & the career I’ve built since then fulfills me & makes me better able to care for kids I have now. #ShoutYourAbortion
— Lindy West (@thelindywest) September 20, 2015
But I think this woman silenced opponents perfectly in one tweet saying,
No woman wants to have an abortion, however majority of those who have had one were thankful for CHOICE. PERIOD. #ShoutYourAbortion
— Bimm #StandwithPP (@bimmerella) September 22, 2015
The hashtag trended for a few days, in the middle of an intense political debate over Planned Parenthood funding. While the political conversation is still in the works, women who participated in the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag certainly made their voices heard.