Abortion stories flood social media after SCOTUS draft leaks

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On Monday night, Ashley Winter was browsing Twitter admiring the Met Gala red carpet looks, she said, when she came across an alarming tweet: “This country just went back 50 years.” ”

Moments later, Winter immersed herself in the explosive Politico story that immediately sent social media users into a frenzy: the Supreme Court is about to strike down the abortion rights established in 1973. Roe vs. Wade decision, according to a leaked draft notice the news agency obtained.

“I watched the whole story and I was just full of anger,” said Winter, a 37-year-old urologist based in Portland, Oregon. me that I don’t deserve to live the life I have today.

Over the past few months, Winter has spoken on social media about the procedure she underwent years ago. His first revelation came in a Twitter feed after the passing of Texas’ restrictive abortion law, which has ended most abortions in the state since September.

The latest action on state abortion laws

After reading Politico’s report, she said she felt compelled to share her story again. “I had an abortion,” she said. tweeted. “It was the right choice.”

Dozens of other Twitter users have since joined Winter to share their experiences, including The politicians and celebrities.

“I had an abortion when I was 19 and never felt comfortable talking about it online,” a read tweet. “We talk about de-stigmatizing a lot of things, but we desperately need to de-stigmatize abortion.”

“I had a legal abortion shortly after Roe v. Wade was adopted,” read another. “I don’t regret it because it was an accident and I was too young to be a mother.”

Anti-abortion campaigners also took to social media to weigh in on the news, cheering the prospect that the High Court could overturn deer. Some tweeted under the hashtags #ProLife and #ProLifeGeneration, and many prominent activists called “protect the unborn child” and “choose life” after the leaked draft notice was announced.

Some also shared their own abortion stories, writing that the experience changed their outlook. “It so happened that the only place I found the love and support I needed was in God and in the Christian community, perhaps because at the time no one else even recognized PTSD caused by abortion,” one Twitter user said. wrote.

“I was almost a product of abortion like my mom said,” another user wrote. “Two of my siblings that I never met because they had an abortion. I’m so glad my mom chose life for me, but I will always mourn the loss of any siblings I might have have. They are my angels in heaven.

People have been sharing their abortion stories for thousands of years, said Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify, an abortion rights organization dedicated to increasing leadership and representation for people who have an abortion.

“But over the past decade, as we have seen access to abortion erode, we have become increasingly vocal and we are sharing our abortion stories in the public sphere,” Sherman added. .

For example, after the US House of Representatives voted to fund Planned Parenthood in 2015, the #ShoutYourAbortion activism campaign began to emerge on Twitter. “I actually think what we’re seeing now is very similar to that,” said Sarah J. Jackson, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. “There are often these times when there is a political crisis that pushes people to tell their own stories.”

For Darian Auge, 29, Monday night was the first time they had spoken publicly about their abortion.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, and it saved my life,” they said. wrote. “Abortion is health.”

Auge hopes these collective stories will help make visible the disproportionate impact that marginalized groups face when seeking the procedure.

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“We’re largely kept out of the conversation,” said Auge, a Cedar Rapids-area social worker. “And that really bothers me because we already have such a hard time accessing reproductive health care as trans people when it’s legal. So when it’s illegal, it’s even harder.

Sherman of WeTestify agreed that such stories made public benefit everyone. “These are the stories we need to hear,” she said. “Trans and binary people have abortions. Homosexuals have abortions. The former incarcerated and the undocumented – we all have abortions.

When feminist author Mona Eltahawy, 54, tweeted her abortion live Tuesday morning, she said the responses were overwhelmingly supportive — and especially from black people and people of color who bear the brunt of maternal health disparities.

They have long recognized the threat to abortion rights, she said: “Many of them had already lost access to Roe vs. Wade because of their ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds, and depending on where they live in the United States.

In addition to bringing visibility to various experiences, such collective action can also have political consequences, according to Christina Ferraz, founder of the public relations agency Thirty6five.

“Through interpersonal communication, people hope to change public opinion on a larger scale,” they said, “because if you can change a person’s mind, when you multiply that by every story available on social networks, it becomes a movement.”

Majority of Americans say Supreme Court should affirm Roe, post-ABC poll finds

In perhaps the most significant hashtag campaign of recent years, the start of the #MeToo movement in 2017 led to global awareness against sexual misconduct – resulting in a series of criminal cases, policy reform and culture shifts in various industries.

Although Jackson, the professor, said it’s too soon to know how the current abortion trend on Twitter will snowball, “what we do know is that telling these stories can make people engage more politically on the issues and put more pressure on their representatives”. , about government,” she said. “It can spur public opinion to treat particular issues as more pressing.”

A senior Planned Parenthood leader left open the possibility that coordinated grassroots mobilization could influence the Supreme Court’s decision on deer before it’s announced in the coming months, as Caroline Kitchener of The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, some anti-abortion leaders believe the leak was part of an attempt by the left to ‘bully’ the High Court into changing its mind.

Eltahawy, for her part, said she’s hopeful a new movement is emerging among people sharing their abortion stories: “I think that’s where our power lies.”

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