Thousands of women share #YouKnowMe abortion stories

As Alabama enacted a law this week that would ban nearly all abortions in the US state, actor Busy Philipps felt compelled to act. “Women deserve compassion and understanding in their personal health choices,” says the 39-year-old. “It’s something a lot of people experience and go through in their lives, and it’s a health decision like many health decisions.”

Just a week earlier she had open about her own abortion, when she was 15, on her late-night show, Busy Tonight, in a plea to protect women’s reproductive rights. Philipps, who is known for her roles on TV shows Dawson’s Creek and Freaks and Geeks, wrote about abortion in her memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little.

“The statistic is that one in four women will have an abortion before the age of 45,” she said on the show last Tuesday, referring to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. . “That stat 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.”

She’s one of a string of well-known women, including the Friends star Courtney Cox and the Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, to oppose the new laws. Yesterday Lady Gaga tweeted“It’s an outrage to ban abortion in Alabama, period, and all the more heinous because it excludes those who have been raped or are experiencing incest, non-consensual or not. So there is a Heavier penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists?It’s a travesty, and I pray for all those women and girls who suffer at the hands of this system.

On Tuesday, actor Milla Jovovich revealed in an Instagram Publish that she also had an abortion. The Resident Evil star wrote that she had an “emergency abortion” in 2017, when she was 4.5 months pregnant, while filming in Eastern Europe. “I gave birth before term and [was] said I had to be awake for the entire procedure,” she wrote. “It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever had. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless.

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I don’t like to do politics and I try to only do it if it’s really necessary and it’s one of those times. If someone doesn’t want to continue reading, you’ve been warned. Our rights as women to get safe abortions from experienced doctors are on the line again. Last Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a draconian bill that bans all abortions after six weeks — even before that most women do not realize they are pregnant – including in cases of RAPE OR INCEST. This makes Georgia the sixth state to enact such a restrictive six-week abortion ban, joining Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa and North Dakota. These laws have not yet been passed, but lawmakers in these states are trying. Abortion is emotionally difficult enough for women without having to undergo it in potentially dangerous and unsanitary conditions. I myself had an emergency abortion 2 years ago. I was 4.5 months pregnant and I was filming on location in Eastern Europe. I went into premature labor and said I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever had. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless. When I think about how women might face even worse abortions than me because of the new laws, my stomach turns. I sank into one of the worst depressions of my life and had to work extremely hard to get out of it. I took time off from my career. I isolated myself for months and had to keep a strong face for my two amazing children. I started gardening, eating healthier, and going to the gym every day because I didn’t want to go on antidepressants unless I tried all the other alternatives. Thank God I was able to get out of this personal hell without resorting to medication, but the memory of what I went through and what I lost will stay with me until the day I die. Abortion is a nightmare at its best. No woman wants to go through this. But we must fight for our rights to be preserved in order to obtain a safe one if we need it. I never wanted to talk about this experience. But I cannot remain silent in the face of so many issues. #prochoice #prochoicegeneration

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Alabama was the seventh state to pass a bill this year that shrinks itself the abortion window, and Missouri is on the right track to join them. As they rush to restrict pregnancy terminations and other states act to protect them, thousands of women are sharing their own abortion stories online, many using the hashtag #You know me. In a phone interview, Philipps talks about her motivations for speaking out, the response to her story, and what comes next.

What led you to talk about abortion on your show?
Part of what I think has been so successful in motivating people and getting men involved in the #MeToo movement has been hearing from women about their personal stories. Abortion has historically been a very taboo subject that women find difficult to talk about publicly because it is such a personal decision.

Anti-abortion people in the United States are so vocal, and for all those reasons, I think women have been silent. And I thought, well, maybe there’s value in sharing. We must be as loud as them, but with the truth. It’s the only thing we have. For me, that includes people standing up and saying, “I’m that one out of four.” It doesn’t matter why, when or how old you were. “You know me, you like me and I’ve been there.” I think there’s something super empowering about being able to change the narrative and being able to have a ton of people say, “I went through that thing too.” Before speaking on my own show, I had read the story of a Victim of rape at age 11 in Ohio who was going to be forced to carry a pregnancy. I have a daughter who is the same age. I became physically ill thinking about the horror of this for this child. For these men in charge to decide that this collection of cells is worth more than this child defies all logic.

How did the comment you made on your show lead to your Tweeter Tuesday calling on women to share their stories with the hashtag #YouKnowMe?
I don’t really understand hashtags. I never hashtag. Tina Fey, who doesn’t have her own social media accounts and is my executive producer, contacted me. She said, “I think you hit on something, which is ‘you know me’. It makes it very personal. I think you should consider starting this hashtag.

It was the day after I had done the show. I already felt overwhelmed with the responses to my show. I had to think about it. Then last night I went to dinner with my girlfriends, and we were on our phones reading about the Alabama Law. I told them about the hashtag and they said, “Do it now. It’s the right time to do it.”

What do you think of some of the backlash people have had to comments you made on your show and on the hashtag?
I had trolls hit me, and a lot of people said, “How can you be proud of what you’ve done?” I never said I was proud of it. This is something that I have experienced as a woman and that many women in this country and around the world have experienced. I refuse to live in shame and I refuse to cling to something that I am not ashamed of.

I don’t know a single woman who’s had an abortion and said, “I can’t wait, I’m so excited about this.” I can’t control anyone else feeling that way about this. I believe they are wrong and, to be honest with you, it really has no effect on me. Not even for a second. In terms of followers on Instagram, if that’s something you believe in and you think a woman shouldn’t decide with her doctor and herself what’s right for her own body, you can go ahead and no more. follow me. I do not need you.

How can men be allies?
Men can be louder. I think they can be participatory and stand side by side with women, opposing these bills. My husband and I talked about it before I talked about it on my show. We talked about the possible repercussions. He and I both decided that anything negative that could happen to me about me would be utterly miniscule compared to the good it could do for others.

What is your vision for the future when it comes to reproductive rights?
I want everyone, myself included, to hope that women can have true equality in our society. I’m hopeful for our daughters. I hope we don’t back down and what we see right now is the last dying grip of old white men trying to hold on to the patriarchy and hold onto their power in any way they can. I hope this is a real turning point, and that from now on things will be better. It might get worse before it gets better, but it’s pretty bad right now. And I’m talking about a place with so many privileges. – New York Times, Pennsylvania

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