Women Are Using #YouKnowMe To Tell Their Abortion Stories

by Valerie Williams
via Twitter

#YouKnowMe prompts hundreds of women to tell their abortion stories on Twitter

In the wake of terrifying abortion laws being enacted in multiple states, women are rightly infuriated and scared at what looks like the crumbling of reproductive rights as we’ve long known them. It’s prompting women to share stories about their own abortions using #YouKnowMe.

The hashtag appears to have been spearheaded by actress and late-night host Busy Philipps, who recently shared her own abortion story on her show. She included the phrase “you know me” when telling her audience to drive home the point that so many women have had abortions, chances are, we all know someone who has.

“Here is the reality,” she said. “No bill that criminalizes abortion will stop anyone from making this incredibly personal choice, but these laws will put more women at risk. Every woman deserves compassion and care, not judgment and interference when it comes to their own bodies. The statistic is that one in four women will have an abortion before age 45. That statistic sometimes surprises people, and maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.’”

“Well, you know me,” she continued. “I had an abortion when I was 15 years old and I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over the country.”

Now, she’s using social media to get the message out that 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 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame.”

Her tweet call prompted hundreds of women to open up about their abortions. The reasons behind their choices are varied and often heartbreaking — but also, liberating and empowering. Women having a choice in what to do with their own bodies and futures is so crucially important, and with so many states (looking at you now, Alabama and Georgia) enacting extreme restrictions on the procedure, women are rightfully terrified.

The sheer number of stories really brings home how common abortions are, but chances are high that some women never tell a soul for fear of judgment — which is likely what makes so many people think it’s not a choice many women make.

Amid all the stories, there were folks pointing out that no one should have to justify their abortion. No one should have to prove why they need the ability to make choices when it comes to their own bodies.

And as one woman says, no one should need some heartbreaking justification for what amounts to a medical procedure. A woman not wanting to be pregnant is reason enough.

As we watch one state after another come for a woman’s right to choose, those willing to speak out and put names and faces to this incredibly common medical procedure are doing very important work. It’s hard to deny the right for women to make their own healthcare choices when it’s someone you know, not just a nameless group of women. Huge applause to those working to end the stigma — and let the world know that having an abortion is nothing to be ashamed of.