Hundreds of women are taking to social media to share stories about their abortions in a global anger reaction to Alabama’s decision to impose a near-total ban on the procedure.
As news broke overnight that Alabama had signed the law into law, thousands of people furiously took to Twitter to condemn the decision as an assault on women’s rights.
Political leaders and celebrities were among them, with stars such as Busy Phillips and Milla Jovovich sharing details of their own abortions.
Their stories were picked up by thousands of women who tweeted the hashtag “#Youknowme” in an effort to normalize it and give an idea of how many women around the world have benefited.
Alabama’s new bill makes all abortions illegal unless necessary to save the life of the mother.
The bill passed 25-6 on Tuesday and all votes in favor came from men.
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Their stores ranged from women who said they had been raped to those who would not survive pregnancy themselves and those whose babies were born with painful and life-altering disabilities.
“Finding out that I was pregnant the very week I decided to leave my abuser could have tied me to him forever,” said one woman.
“I was 12 years old. Need I say more? another wrote.
“I had an abortion at 15…my only regret is allowing people to judge me for MY choice,” said one.
‘#youknowme 1978 and 1988 with two beautiful girls in between. No regrets,” another woman said.
Others told stories of other women who lost their lives to illegal abortions.
Politicians including Nancy Pelosi tweeted angrily.
“Women’s rights are under attack. This relentless and cruel Republican assault on women’s health is designed to force a court battle to destroy Roe v. Wade.
“Democrats will be prepared to defend women’s health care and reproductive freedom,” she said.
Jamila Jameel, a British TV personality, identified as having had an abortion, as did Milla Jojovich who wrote: “I myself had an emergency abortion 2 years ago. I was 4.5 months pregnant and I was filming on location in Eastern Europe.
Actress Milla Jojovich has revealed how she had to have an emergency abortion when she was four months pregnant
“I went into preterm 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 the fact that women could face abortions in even worse conditions than me because of the new laws, my stomach turns. I have sunk into one of the worst depressions of my life and I I had to work extremely hard to get by.
“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 days because I didn’t want to go on antidepressants unless I had tried all the other alternatives.
“Thank God I was able to get out of this personal hell without turning to medication, but the memory of what I went through and what I lost will stay with me until the day I die.
It was the 25 white politicians who passed the bill in Alabama on Tuesday. All are Republicans
Margeaux Hartline, dressed as a maid, at a rally against HB314, the near-total abortion ban bill, outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Alabama on Tuesday
“Abortion is a nightmare at its best. No woman wants to go through that,” she said.
Busy Phillips sparked many tweets.
On Monday night, the actress wrote, “1 in 4 women have an abortion.” A lot of people think they don’t know someone who does, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: If you’re the 1 in 4 too, let’s share it and start ending the shame.
“Use #youknowme and share your truth.”
Others have used the hashtag #shoutyourabortion which has been condemned in the past by conservatives as a celebration of the process.
The vote passed on Tuesday means the only exceptions are to safeguard the health of the mother.
Doctors could now face 10 years in prison for attempting an abortion and 99 years for actually performing the procedure.
Alabama’s new bill makes all abortions illegal unless necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill passed 25-6 on Tuesday and all votes in favor came from men. Democratic Senator Roger Smitherman speaks out in opposition to the bill