Women flood social media with abortion stories in backlash over Alabama bill
Brooklyn Neustaeter, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 6:48AM EDT
Women have taken to social media to share their stories of how they terminated their pregnancies using #YouKnowMe following Alabama's anti-abortion legislation.
Alabama's Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the most restrictive abortion legislation in the United States on Wednesday that makes performing an abortion at any state of pregnancy punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider.
Actor and talk show host Busy Philipps asked social media users to share their abortion stories in a push against the new legislation.
"1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme," Philipps tweeted to her 369,000 followers.
The call-out quickly went viral with women highlighting a variety of reasons why they choose to get abortions including financial issues and being too young. Others cited domestic violence and sexual assault.
Philipps recently shared her own story of having an abortion when she was 15 in an episode of her E! talk show "Busy Tonight."
"I'm telling you this because I'm genuinely really scared for women and girls in this country," she said to viewers.
Hundreds of women have responded to Philipps' call on Twitter, using the hashtag to share their own abortion stories and show support for those who have had the procedure including film director Miranda July, actor and singer Keke Palmer, actor Milla Jovovich, "Dear White People" star Logan Browning and and "Game of Thrones" actor Lena Headey.
"The Good Place" actress Jameela Jamil also revealed she once had an abortion, tweeting "It was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn't want, and wasn't ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially."
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act only allows for abortions "to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother" and if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly." There is no exception for rape and incest.
The ban is set to go into effect in six months, but is expected to face a lawsuit in an attempt to block it.
The Alabama bill follows a similar measure in Georgia where Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill last week banning all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.
The #YouKnowMe move echoes the 2017 #MeToo hashtag, which gained momentum when actress Alyssa Milano -- who recently called for a sex strike following Georgia's anti-abortion legislation -- asked victims of sexual assault to speak out.
Lawmakers have been racing to pass new abortion legislation since U.S. President Donald Trump chose Brett M. Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court -- adding what some politicians saw as a fifth vote for stricter abortion laws.
The Alabama bill conflicts with the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the country. Supporters of the bill say they hope the change will prompt the justices to revisit abortion rights nationally.