Just a week after Busy Philipps opened up about her own abortion on her late-night show on E!, the TV personality, actress and influencer asked women on Wednesday to share their own under the hashtag #YouKnowMe, prompting more than a thousand replies.
“1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme,” Philipps wrote early Wednesday. “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.”
Director Miranda July, actress Cynthia Nixon, actress Alia Shawkat and writer Jessica Valenti were among those who responded to Philipps’ call on Twitter. “I was 27. My then-boyfriend, who was big on “pulling out in time,” thought we should consider having it and I said something like DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH I AM ON THE VERGE OF DOING?? 2 years later I started shooting my first feature. #youknowme,” July wrote.
“I am here and able to mother my incredible daughter because of the health- and life-saving abortion I had when she was three years old. #YouKnowMe,” Valenti added.
“Almost 60 years ago, my mother had an illegal abortion. It was too harrowing for her to discuss, but she made sure I knew it had happened,” Nixon wrote. “In 2010, my wife had a legal abortion after we found out her pregnancy was not viable. We cannot and will not go back.”
Though Philipps first wrote about her abortion at 15 years old in her memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little, the story received widespread attention when the late-night host divulged the story on Busy Tonight in early May. Citing Georgia’s so-called “fetal heartbeat” abortion bill, signed into law last week, Philipps told her audience, “The statistic is one in four women will have an abortion before age 45. That statistic 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 added, as she teared up, “I had an abortion when I was 15 years old, and I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country. And I think that we all need to be talking more and sharing our stories more.”
In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Philipps said she was inspired to share her prompt in part by the #MeToo movement: “Part of what I think was so successful in getting people motivated and men on board with the #MeToo movement was hearing from women about their personal stories,” she said. “The anti-abortion people in this country are so vocal, and for all of those reasons I think women have remained silent. And I felt like, well, maybe there’s actually value in sharing. We need to be as loud as they are, but with the truth.”
Over on TBS’ Full Frontal, Samantha Bee taught a “sex ed” class for senators following the news that Alabama had passed a near-total ban on abortion. Watch that here and read some more of the stories shared on the #YouKnowMe hashtag below.
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) May 16, 2019
In 2012, I had an abortion. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I still think about it to this day. But these truths do not make me regret my decision. It was the right choice for me, at that time in my life. I have not a single doubt about this. #YouKnowMe
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) May 16, 2019
#YouKnowMe– I’m from Mississippi, living in California, married with 2 kids, & I had an abortion.
If I were still back home down south, I might not have been able to get the abortion I wanted & needed.
— Tess Holliday (@Tess_Holliday) May 16, 2019
I was 27. My then-boyfriend, who was big on “pulling out in time”, thought we should consider having it and I said something like DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH I AM ON THE VERGE OF DOING?? 2 years later I started shooting my first feature. #youknowme https://t.co/AA6kiKKz0v
— Miranda July (@Miranda_July) May 15, 2019
i was 20 and my partner at the time wasn’t aloud into the united states because he is Palestinian . I wasn’t ready to raise a child alone or to be a mother #YouKnowMe
— Alia Shawkat (@ShawkatAlia) May 16, 2019
Almost 60 years ago, my mother had an illegal abortion. It was too harrowing for her to discuss, but she made sure I knew it had happened. In 2010, my wife had a legal abortion after we found out her pregnancy was not viable. We cannot and will not go back. #YouKnowMe #YouKnowUs
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) May 16, 2019
I am here and able to mother my incredible daughter because of the health- and life-saving abortion I had when she was three years old. #YouKnowMe
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 15, 2019
— Sarah Sophie Flicker (@sarahsophief) May 15, 2019
My son exists because when I needed an abortion halfway through my (very wanted) first pregnancy, I had access to safe, legal abortion. Without it, I would very likely have been left infertile, or worse. #YouKnowMe pic.twitter.com/4l6JlCKYtw
— Sabrina Joy Stevens (@realsabijoy) May 15, 2019
— Jenny Lawson (@TheBloggess) May 15, 2019
In 2012 I had an abortion, I wasn’t ready in any means to have a child I am 1 in 4 and #YouKnowMe. Post procedure I immediately cried, it was one of the hardest decisions to make but I would have not been able to grow the way I did the last 7 years if I didn’t make that decision https://t.co/nZ6kTZVd6e
— Nelini Stamp (@NelStamp) May 15, 2019
I was 18, uneducated about birth control, and in an abusive relationship. And then I was 23 (on the pill) and my now husband had just admitted he was an alcoholic. Compromising his sobriety wasn’t an option. Both were decisions I have zero regrets about. #youknowme
— Megan (@Megan_123455) May 15, 2019
I have taken the Plan B pill 3 times after botched condom use in my early 20s. One time I was a grad student at Stanford and the university doctor at first refused to give me the pill, until I told him if I got pregnant I would definitely get an abortion #youknowme
— Leta Hong Fincher, PhD (@LetaHong) May 15, 2019
I was 19 years old and in my second year of college. I knew I had degrees to finish.
I had an abortion.#YouKnowMe
I am a public school teacher in the Bronx.
My life of service and activism might not have been.
I’m grateful to have lived in New York and had access.
— KatBrezler (@KatBrezler) May 15, 2019
I had a second trimester abortion. Our son never formed an airway. Had he survived birth he would have been brain dead. That wasn’t the life I wanted for him. It was the first true parenting decision I ever made. I am not a monster or a criminal. #youknowme
— Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt (@Erica_DSW) May 16, 2019