By now, you will have heard about Alabama’s draconian abortion bill passed earlier this week which outlaws the procedure in virtually all circumstances, with no exceptions for rape and incest. You will likely feel sickened by the deliberate erosion of women’s reproductive rights, outraged by the fact that the law was backed by Alabama’s male-dominated Senate, and concerned for women who are unable to exercise bodily autonomy.
In the wake of the news, women have been taking to social media to share their own experiences in a bid to change the narrative around abortion, including actress and talk show host Busy Philipps, who encouraged women to share their truth with there pro-choice hashtag #youknowme.
“1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth,” Philipps tweeted, who last week condemned the passing of Georgia’s controversial “heartbeat” bill, which effectively bans abortion at the detection of fetal cardiac activity at six weeks of pregnancy.
The campaign quickly went viral, with thousands of women around the world sharing emotional, defiant and unapologetic stories of how they terminated their pregnancies.
The campaign has been compared to the #MeToo movement of 2017, which encouraged women to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault, and shows the power of digital activism in challenging stigma and normalising women’s reproductive healthcare.
At the same time, we also know that no women should have to explain or justify their reproductive decisions, in social media or in real life, in order to have respect and autonomy over their own body. It’s nobody’s business but yours.