Women Including Busy Philipps Share Their Stories In The Wake Of Alabama's Abortion Bill
Alabama's Republican governor signed a bill on Wednesday for a near-total ban on abortion, giving the southern US state the strictest abortion laws in the country.
Naturally, the shocking ruling has been met with global outrage from people who believe that terminating a pregnancy is a woman's right and banning it altogether implies a total disregard of female autonomy.
Now, thousands of women have come forward to share their stories of abortion under the social media hashtag #youknowme, started by actress Busy Philipps
"So let's do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth."
Following her lead, women shared their personal stories of terminating a pregnancy:
Catheter and clothes hangar.
I was 19, it was 1966.
I didn't die.
But I could have.
- Charla Garth. #ImpeachTrump (@cmg1947) May 15, 2019
The baby was desperately wanted, but had chromosomal and physical defects. It was the hardest decision of our lives, but it was the right one. I think of him every day, especially when I look at my rainbow baby. #youknowme
- Jessie Puk (@jesspuk) May 15, 2019
Fucking hard for me to put this out but, the condom was removed without my consent - I was drunk and asked far too late - and the morning after pill didn't work. #youknowme and it's time I didn't feel so ashamed of this
- :hibiscus:Spring:hibiscus: (@alltheseasons_) May 15, 2019
#youknowme I had an abortion when I was in my 30s. My only regret is letting others make me feel ashamed of my choice. So today, I stand by other woman and girls who have that choice to make and say: Stay strong! You are not alone! :green_heart::green_heart:
- Rehnae Xanti (@RealRehnaeXanti) May 15, 2019
#YouKnowMe I was 16 and the condom broke. There was never any question about what I was going to do and I have never regretted it. And I know at least 5 other women who also had one and went on to have kids later once they were ready, and are amazing moms.
- Brandi Dawson (@Brandii_Jade) May 15, 2019
#youknowme 28 years old, single, no maternal instinct, birth control pills failed. No shame. Doctors should have provided the tubal ligation I'd requested for 10 years. They'd refused because 'women change their minds'.
- Victoria (@forfsakes) May 15, 2019
My daughter was 1 year old and I knew financially I couldn't afford another baby. It was the hardest, most painful and deeply personal decision I've made in my life. The government involving itself in such intensely private matters is ridiculous #youknowme
- Beyonce's Blackassness :crown::fist: (@melanatedgirl) May 15, 2019
I was 18 & had just begun treatment for a bone tumor & I found out I was a few weeks pregnant. I'd already been given radiation treatment despite early pregnancy tests being negative prior to surgery 1. they were were wrong. Had an abortion, continue'd my tumor tx #youknowme
- GypsyNomad (@Moongirl7117) May 15, 2019
Had an abortion at 15... my only regret is allowing people to judge me for MY choice. I hope in my lifetime we destigmatize abortion. #YouKnowMe
- Denise Spencer (@Denny2447) May 15, 2019
On the drive home from morning yoga practice Sunday, my heart opened up and I forgave myself for the shame I had been carrying for years over a choice I do not regret.
1 in 4 women has had an abortion.
I'm one of them.#YouKnowMe
- katie (@ktfnckntruchon) May 15, 2019
Among the stories, one woman explained that she discovered her child had chromosomal and physical defects, prompting her to get an abortion. "It was the hardest decision of our lives, but it was the right one," she said.
One brave woman told the story of how she became pregnant after a condom broke during sex when she was just 16 years old. "There was never any question about what I was going to do and I have never regretted it," she said, adding, "I know at least 5 other women who also had one and went on to have kids later once they were ready, and are amazing moms. [sic]"
A woman from Washington shared her shockingly story of terminating her pregnancy down a "back alley" with a "Catheter and clothes hangar [sic]" in 1966. She noted she didn't die but "could have" - a scary outlook for the women of Alabama, where DIY abortions could become the norm with the new law in place.
The ban, which shockingly even includes cases of rape and incest, will see doctors face 10 years in prison for attempting to terminate a pregnancy and 99 years for carrying out the procedure.
Of the US state's 35-seat Senate, 25 men voted to ban abortion, while none of its four female senators backed the ban. It was subsequently signed by Alabama's Republican governor, Kay Ivey, and is expected to come into force in six months' time.
Though Alabama's laws are now the strictest, they follow the lead of four more states - Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio - that signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.
Georgia's controversial new 'Fetal Heartbeat' bill, which would make abortion in the state illegal past the six week mark if passed, was met with global condemnation.
Opponents say the bill amounts to a ban on abortion as a heartbeat can be detected in an embryo as early as six weeks, that's two weeks after a missed period, leaving women a tiny - if not non-existent - window to get an abortion legally.
In response to Georgia's bill, actress Jameela Jamil called it "upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a disregard for our rights, bodies, mental health," adding, "[It is] essentially a punishment for rape victims, forcing [them] to carry the baby of their rapist."
She also shared that she had also had an abortion calling it 'the best decision she has ever made'.
Featured Image Credit: PA