On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a near-total ban on abortion into state law.
Following a related move in Georgia, women across the country shared their abortion stories on Twitter using the hashtag #You know me before and after Ivey’s action in Alabama.
Women spoke out in droves against threats to abortion and reproductive rights in both states’ legislation, as well as pending measures in other states.
Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act only allows abortions “to avoid serious health hazard to the mother of the unborn child” and if “the unborn child has a life-threatening abnormality “. Under the new law, abortion is also banned in Alabama for victims of rape and incest, and doctors can face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion.
On May 7, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which means women cannot have abortions as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.
“One in 4 women have had an abortion,” actress Busy Philipps tweeted Tuesday night. “A lot of people think they don’t know someone who has, but
#you know me. So let’s do this: If you’re the 1 in 4 too, let’s share it and start ending the shame. Use #you know me and share your truth.
Philipps recently shared her own story of having an abortion at age 15 in an episode of his E! talk show, “Busy Tonight”. Her hashtag spread as the women tweeted about their experiences.
Some women who shared their stories had abortions because they weren’t ready to be mothers, or because they weren’t prepared financially. Others cited abusive relationships and rape in their decision. Some have credited an abortion with saving their lives.
Those who contributed included Rutgers University alumnus Jessica Valenti, a feminist author.
Celebrities, including actress Lady Gaga, have also spoken out against Alabama’s abortion ban.
“It’s outrageous to ban abortion in Alabama times, and all the more heinous because it excludes those (who) have been raped or undergo incest, non-consensual or not”, declared the singer and actress of 33 Years. Part of a statement posted on Twitter: “So there’s a higher sentence for doctors performing these surgeries than for most rapists?”
Actress Milla Jovovich shared her abortion story on Tuesday.
Jovovich, 43, said she had to have an emergency abortion when she went into premature labor when she was four and a half months pregnant two years ago.
“It was one of the most horrifying experiences I have ever had,” she posted on Instagram. “I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless. When I think about the fact that women might face abortions in even worse conditions than me because of the new laws, my stomach turns.
“I never wanted to talk about that experience,” Jovovich said. “But I can’t stay silent with so much at stake.”
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