Women Share Their Abortion Stories

These 6 women are sharing their abortion stories after they participated in the #YouKnowMe movement.

Women sharing their abortion stories

In 2019, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia have passed “heartbeat” bills, banning abortion as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. Six women shared their abortion stories as part of the #YouKnowMe movement, which highlights how common it is for women to receive abortion care. Thousands of tweets have been shared since #YouKnowMe was launched. In the U.S., 1 in 4 women will have an abortion before age 45.

Actress and TV host Busy Philipps started the activism #YouKnowMe hashtag to fight for rights through feminism after Alabama lawmakers voted to ban abortions in the state. Thousands of women have joined her. The stories are heartbreaking, raw, defiant, sad, unapologetic, and everywhere. Some women are sharing horrifying accounts of abuse, others triumphant stories of love and support, and some point out that, actually, they don’t owe anyone an explanation of their choice at all.

Celebrities like Jameela Jamil, Amber Tamblyn, Minka Kelly, and Tess Holiday are sharing their own abortion experiences. Others celebrities, like Ellen Degeneres, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rihanna, Ava Duvernay, and Patricia Arquette, have tweeted their support for the women of Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama. Altogether, it’s an example of hashtag activism at its most during this immediate social phenomenon.

Just like #MeToo, #YouKnowMe pairs statistics with the experiences of real people, fighting stigma by force of mass testimony. The frankness informs the ignorant or unknowing, and the ubiquity challenges mainstream assumptions about who is getting abortions and why. In rallying around a hashtag, the women become both qualitative and quantitative display of the realities of women’s reproductive health care in America. They are obviously, undeniably present, and that in itself could propel cultural change, perhaps even legislative change in politics.