Celebrities joined hundreds of ordinary Americans sharing their own personal abortion stories on Thursday as the backlash against tough new state laws continues to gather pace and an online campaign titled #youknowme gathered pace.
Among them was Minka Kelly who said her abortion was the ‘smartest decision’s he could have made.
The campaign to protect access to abortion continued to gain momentum on Thursday following moves by Alabama and other U.S. states to heavily restrict a woman’s right to end her pregnancy, a perennial battleground in U.S. politics and touchstone of modern feminism.
Galvanized by the threat, movie stars divulged their own painful stories, warning against any return to backstreet abortions or men legislating over women’s bodies.
On social media, hundreds of ordinary Americans also answered a call by talk show host Busy Philipps to share stories and ‘end the shame’.
Philipps launched the hashtag #youknowme aimed at showing how common it is for women to end their pregnancies on Tuesday night, before the bill was passed.
‘1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme,’ the 39-year-old wrote in a post on Twitter.
One day after its launch, nearly 50,000 people had liked or shared the post and almost 2,000 users had posted responses, including deeply personal accounts of their own abortions.
Busy Philipps launched a social media campaign to share abortion stories and ‘end the shame’. Actress Minka Kelly was among those to reveal her pain as backlash against the tough new laws continued to gather pace
On social media, hundreds of ordinary Americans also answered a call by talk show host Busy Philipps to share stories and ‘end the shame’ using the hashtag #youknowme
Actress Minka Kelly revealed via a lengthy Instagram post that she had an abortion at a young age and revealed the procedure was ‘the smartest decision’ she could’ve made
In her post, Kelly said: ‘When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus,’ she wrote.
‘For a baby to’ve been born to two people – too young and completely ill equipped – with no means or help from family, would have resulted in a child born into an unnecessary world of struggle.
‘Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into.’
Alabama’s governor on Wednesday signed a bill aiming to ban abortions in almost all cases, including rape and incest, with doctors who perform the procedure facing up to 99 years in jail.
Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced this year in 16 U.S. states as conservatives attempt to strike down a landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.
Fears that Roe v Wade – a hard-won and hallowed right for many U.S. women – was under threat has galvanized support from Congress to Hollywood.
Actor Milla Jovovich also divulged details of her own traumatic emergency abortion after she went into pre-term labor, saying this underlined how vulnerable women could be.
‘It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through,’ she wrote in a post on Instagram.
‘I was alone and helpless. When I think about the fact that women might have to face abortions in even worse conditions than I did because of new laws, my stomach turns.’
Actor and politician Cynthia Nixon said her mother underwent a ‘harrowing’ backstreet abortion before the procedure was made legal, joining thousands who tweeted under #youknowme.
‘In 2010, my wife had a legal abortion after we found out her pregnancy was not viable,’ she also wrote in the post.
‘We cannot and will not go back.’
British actor and presenter Jameela Jamil said that having an abortion in her youth was the ‘best decision I have ever made’ and predicted that Alabama’s law would lead to ‘chaos.’
‘Hope the people of Alabama who want the abortion ban are up for donating their money and space to the MEGA influx of kids in need of care, coming your way,’ she wrote.
Singer Lady Gaga said Alabama’s law was ‘an outrage’ and ‘heinous’ in her post on Twitter. ‘So there’s a higher penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists?’
Actress Milla Jojovich revealed how she had to undergo an emergency abortion while four-months pregnant
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders posted a video of a woman whose mother died from an illegal, self-induced abortion in 1944.
‘In limiting access to abortion, all we are doing is eliminating safe and monitored abortions,’ he wrote.
‘Ultimately, this is about women’s power,’ said Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a Twitter post.
‘It’s a brutal form of oppression to seize control of the 1 essential thing a person should command: their own body.’
These are the 25 white male politicians who passed the bill in Alabama on Tuesday. All are Republican