Abortion is not a topic thrown around lightly—or likely, not brought up at all. Despite being legal in the U.S., abortion has been on the spotlight in light of recent events.
There have been so many points raised by both pro- and anti-abortion supporters. But ultimately, it’s a choice—and one that women, more often than not, keep to themselves. That all changed when a hashtag became viral over Twitter recently.
Writer Lindy West started the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion over the weekend with Amelia Bonow, who had posted on Twitter her reaction to the news on the scrapping of funding for Planned Parenthood (PP), a U.S. nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The organization has received flak recently when undercover videos of its officials talking about selling aborted fetuses were released to the public.
It's about destigmatization, normalization, and putting an end to shame,” says West in another tweet.
#ShoutYourAbortion was not just a trending topic on Twitter; it has become an online community of women sharing their personal stories. Even women (and men!) who have not had an abortion declared their support for having a say over their own body and their own life.
I haven't needed an abortion yet, but I don't know of ANY regrettable ones. If you need a ride to yours, let me know. #shoutyourabortion
However, pro-abortion supporters aren’t the only ones using the hashtag. Many anti-abortion supporters also took the opportunity to voice out their stand against it. Most of them tweeting messages of compassion for unborn children. Some of the messages are a call for more responsibility
I kept my baby. Because her divine right to live trumped my selfish desire not to take responsibility for my choices. #ShoutYourAbortion
The hashtag is not meant to glorify abortion, says Bonow in an interview with Buzzfeed. It merely aims to eliminate the stigma that women who have had the procedure done are slapped with.
September 22, 2015. "Women embrace, criticize #ShoutYourAbortion" (cnn.com) September 22, 2015. “Two Women Started A Hashtag Encouraging Others To #ShoutYourAbortion" (buzzfeed.com) September 21, 2015. "These Women Are Not Here For Your Abortion Stigma – Let Them Tell You Why" (mtv.com) September 21. “#ShoutYourAbortion: The New Way Women Are Talking About Choice” (elle.com)