One week before Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the nation’s most restrictive abortion bill on Tuesday, actress Busy Philipps shared her own story on her late-night show, “Busy Tonight.”
Philipps, who was 15 years old when she had an abortion, also wrote about the experience in her memoir, “This Will Only Hurt a Little,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“The statistic is one in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” she said last Tuesday on the show, citing a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. “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.”
On Wednesday, Philipps tweeted out the same statistic encouraging women to “share your truth.” Thousands of women have come forward to share their private, often harrowing stories.
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 the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 15, 2019
I am here and able to mother my incredible daughter because of the health- and life-saving abortion I had when she was three years old. #YouKnowMe— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 15, 2019
My boyfriend at the time said I could either have an abortion or he could beat “it” out of me. I cried the entire time. And months after so hard I would vomit. I count the age with every passing year, But it’s probably the only reason I’m alive today. 1 in 4. #youknowme— Meg (@gingermghn) May 16, 2019
I was 26, happily married and excited for the pregnancy. We got a non compatible with life diagnosis - the skull didn’t form. We ended the pregnancy at 13 weeks. We made the best choice for us and now have a happy and healthy baby #youknowme #1in4— Michelle (@seash1492) May 16, 2019
Date raped at 21. So awful I put it out of my head. Got pregnant. Parents said, what ever you want to do we’ll support your decision. I’ll never forget their support. I made the right decision. #Youknowme— Wanda Reardart (@Reardart) May 16, 2019
I had a second trimester abortion. Our son never formed an airway. Had he survived birth he would have been brain dead. That wasn’t the life I wanted for him. It was the first true parenting decision I ever made. I am not a monster or a criminal. #youknowme— Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt (@Erica_DSW) May 16, 2019
In 2012 I had an abortion, I wasn't ready in any means to have a child I am 1 in 4 and #YouKnowMe. Post procedure I immediately cried, it was one of the hardest decisions to make but I would have not been able to grow the way I did the last 7 years if I didn't make that decision https://t.co/nZ6kTZVd6e— Nelini Stamp (@NelStamp) May 15, 2019
1 in 4 woman and now #YouKnowMe.— Brooke (@brookekeismurk) May 16, 2019
My husband and I came to the mutual decision we simply weren’t ready.
It was not a easy decision and the process through my insurance and clinic was traumatizing. However I don’t regret it, and every women should have a choice.
I was 18, I had just been raped on a military base in San Diego. I was in denial about being pregnant and ignored the issue for way too long. I set up an appointment at Planned Parenthood. Before my appointment, I had a miscarriage. Hadn’t even graduated high school. #YouKnowMe— Laurel Posakony (@laurelposakony) May 15, 2019
In an interview with the New York Times, Philipps said she believes the power of the #MeToo movement inspired so many folks to share their personal abortion stories.
“The anti-abortion people in this country are so vocal, and for all of those reasons I think women have remained silent. And I felt like, well, maybe there’s actually value in sharing. We need to be as loud as they are, but with the truth. That’s the only thing we have.”
Still, some users, despite being moved by the stories, pointed to their frustrations over yet another social media movement sparked by women’s painful life experiences.
Love to folks sharing their stories of abortion on #YouKnowMe. Also want to point out the subtext of this…our culture demands people explain to strangers reasons for terminating pregnancies. We're not owed reasons, actually.— Tọ́pẹ́ (@graceishuman) May 15, 2019
The #youknowme hashtag contains a lot of deeply powerful testimonials but it just kills me that every time something awful is happening, women have to air out their traumas to make you see us as people.— Ashley (@ashleyfahs) May 16, 2019
all the respect for folks using #youknowme to share their abortion stories. i just wish it didn’t feel necessary for people (largely women) to tear themselves open & broadcast and confessionalize their trauma at times like this in order to make a point or be viewed as people— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) May 16, 2019
Under the Alabama abortion law, abortion or attempted abortion in the state except “in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” is illegal. It reclassifies abortion as a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors. The legislation makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
Six other states, including Georgia, have passed bills this year to narrow the window for abortion.