Two Women Started A Hashtag Encouraging Others To #ShoutYourAbortion

The two women behind the hashtag are trying to change the way society talks about abortion.

1. Over the weekend, women began to share their personal stories about getting abortions on social media, using the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.

BuzzFeed asked each woman for permission to use the tweets included in this post.

3. #ShoutYourAbortion was created this weekend after writer Lindy West took to Twitter and shared the following tweet.

The tweet features a Facebook post written by Amelia Bonow, a fellow writer and self-proclaimed “internet rabble-rouser”:

West and Bonow created the hashtag together after the House of Representatives voted 241–187 to suspend federal funding for Planned Parenthood on Friday.

5. Bonow told BuzzFeed she posted her initial status on Facebook “on a whim” because she had an “incredibly positive experience” having an abortion.

She posted the status “in order to vocally align myself with Planned Parenthood … and let other women know that I feel that our continuing pervasive silence indicates that stigma has won.”

7. West also spoke openly about her own abortion and her reasons for doing it on Twitter, too.

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)

8. After West’s tweet, more women followed with the hashtag she used in her original post. They began to speak openly about why they’d chosen to have an abortion.

9. Here are a few tweets from women who contributed to the conversation:

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)

Abortion is a medical procedure, not a moral quagmire. It is more dangerous to give birth than it is to have an abortion. #shoutyourabortion

— Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford)

11. Many women spoke about having no regrets about their decision to have an abortion.

I had an abortion nine years ago. I don't regret it ever #shoutyourabortion

— CharlotteTaylor-Page (@CharlTaylorPage)

Ex partner of 4 yrs forced me into 2 abortions. My life is better now but only through the support of PP. #IStandWithPP #ShoutYourAbortion

— PeeWee (@msmaris)

Had an abortion procedure done at age 22 because I was WAY too young to parent. Have never, ever regretted it. #ShoutYourAbortion

— Mary Emily O'Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara)

“If you look at the ideological underpinnings of the anti-choice movement, it is crystal clear that the war on abortion is actually a war on women — women’s reproductive and bodily autonomy, and women’s agency in general,” Bonow told BuzzFeed.

16. While a handful of women rallied together in support, there were many others — both men and women — who were upset with the hashtag:

I'm not naive, I understand abortion. What I don't understand is why you'd #shoutyourabortion. What are you bragging about? #barbaric

— _AG_ (@ag_texas)

Wow. #shoutyourabortion is a trending hashtag? This is how low the morals of this country have dropped. People are proud of this? So sad.

— Chris Brusca (@C_Brusca)

#shoutyourabortion is classless. Have some decency ladies

— exotic™ (@exotlc)

#shoutyourabortion << vile & shameful. Zero respect for the sanctity of life. If you've had multiple abortions, you're part of the problem.

— Annie Larson (@Lets_Play_Nurse)

#shoutyourabortion absolutely disgusting.

— Southern Lady (@southrn_lady)

21. Plenty of others also weighed in to support the hashtag:

This #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag is amazing.

— Erin Dalzell (@emd)

I stand with all those who have had, or might ever need an abortion. You deserve safety and agency, above all else. #ShoutYourAbortion

— Naomi (@_naomijosephine)

#ShoutYourAbortion is so so important. Thanks to everyone for sharing

— Ralph Wiggum (@JillianHowey)

24. As for addressing the detractors, Bonow said she isn’t going to let them stop her from doing the work she and West want to accomplish.

“There is nothing about #ShoutYourAbortion which glorifies abortion, although I do not think there is anything remotely immoral or murderous about the procedure,” she said.

25. Ultimately, Bonow said she hopes that “#ShoutYourAbortion changes the way society talks about abortion, and helps women who have abortions feel they are free to speak about them however they choose without fearing stigma.”

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