With the recent “heartbeat bill” passed in Georgia, and even more recent abortion ban passed in Alabama, women across America are feeling more hopeless and frightened for their future than ever. Many female celebrities have responded to this legislation by sharing their own abortion stories, with Busy Philips kicking off a Twitter campaign with the tag #YouKnowMe. She encouraged women everywhere to share their stories, and help shed light on how common abortions really are, how many women’s lives they have saved, and all the different set of circumstances that could make an abortion the best choice for everyone involved.
Most importantly, women sharing their abortion stories, and giving a face to the individuals who are now or soon will be denied access to abortion, will hopefully strike a chord with legislators going forward. Women getting abortions are not shadowy figures or statistics: they are people you know and interact with every day. On that note, here are all the celebrities who have shared their abortion stories in response to this legislation so far.
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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. 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. Forcing a child to be born to a mother who isn’t ready, isn’t financially stable, was raped, a victim of incest (!!), isn’t doing that theoretical child any favors. For those of you insisting abortion is murder, and to Rep. Terri Collins who said “an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and attention” — forget bringing up the mother might be in need of some “love and attention.” What do you think happens to these kids who end up bouncing around in foster care, live on government assistance because the mother has no help, can’t afford childcare while she works a minimum wage job, and is trapped in a cycle of trying to survive on the meager government assistance so many of you same pro-lifers are determined to also take away. If you insist on forcing women to carry to term, why do you refuse to talk about comprehensive sex-ed, the maternal mortality rate, free daycare, paid maternity leave? Our lives, traumas & family planning is for no one to decide but us. Certainly not a group of old white men. Speaking of men… With all this punishment for women I wonder where all the punishment is for the men in this scenario. By looking at the photo of all the men who are making this mess, I find it hard to believe that if it were the autonomy of a man's body, health and life in question, I cant help but be certain we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. I appreciate seeing men speak up on this issue – women do not get pregnant alone. Lest we forget, outlawing abortion has never stopped women from attempting it. @abortionfunds @yellowfund & @EmergeAmerica @emilys_list @runforsomethingnow who work 2 elect pro-choice candidates. #YouKnowMe
Minka Kelly shared her abortion story on Instagram, calling it “the smartest decision [she] could’ve made.” She expands on her reasoning, laying out how unfit she and her boyfriend would have been as parents at the time, and how unfair that would have been to a child. “Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into,” the actress shares, “Forcing a child to be born to a mother who isn’t ready, isn’t financially stable, was raped, a victim of incest (!!), isn’t doing that theoretical child any favors.” She goes on to beg those supporting this new legislation to consider the “love and attention” mothers, and children born into poverty deserve — not just that deserved by the unborn fetus. She also notes the importance of proper sex education, and asks why men are not being held equally responsible: “women do not get pregnant alone,” she reminds us.
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There is an attack on women happening in this country right now. I won't be silent and I have no shame about my personal choice. I am 1 in 4. #youknowme ❤️ I know there is power in sharing our stories. I know it. There is also power in following and donating to some of the organizations doing work to try to stop these draconian laws from going into effect: @prochoiceamerica @plannedparenthood @yellowfund @reprorights
Busy Philips, who kicked off the #YouKnowMe campaign, has spoken about her abortion before in her memoir This Will Only Hurt A Little. In an episode of Busy Tonight, she shared the story again: “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 the country,” she offered frankly. In a follow-up Instagram post, she adds that she has “no shame about [her] personal choice,” adding that she is “1 in 4” — an important statistic to know in raising awareness of just how common abortion is.
I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) May 13, 2019
Jameela Jamil calls her abortion “the best decision [she has] ever made,” and focuses once again on how irresponsible it is to insist on children being carried to term — without any system in place to provide them with sufficient care once they are born. She writes: “[It was the best decision] both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.” She tweeted this in response to an earlier tweet about Georgia’s new abortion legislation, which she calls “upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women.”
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I don’t like to get political and I try to only do it if a really have to and this is one of those times. If someone doesn’t want to continue reading, you have been warned. Our rights as women to obtain safe abortions by experienced doctors are again at stake. Last Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a draconian bill into law that outlaws all abortions after six weeks — before most women even realize they’re pregnant — including in cases of RAPE OR INCEST. This makes Georgia the sixth state to pass such a restrictive six-week abortion ban, joining Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. These laws haven’t been passed yet, but lawmakers in these states are trying. Abortion is hard enough for women on an emotional level without having to go through it in potentially unsafe and unsanitary conditions. I myself went through an emergency abortion 2 years ago. I was 4 1/2 months pregnant and shooting on location in Eastern Europe. I went into pre term labor and told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through. I still have nightmares about it. 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. I spiraled into one of the worst depressions of my life and had to work extremely hard to find my way out. I took time off of my career. I isolated myself for months and had to keep a strong face for my two amazing kids. I started gardening, eating healthier and going to the gym everyday because I didn’t want to jump into taking anti depressants unless I had tried every other alternative. Thank God I was able to find my way out of that personal hell without turning to medication, but the memory of what I went through and what I lost will be with me till the day I die. Abortion is a nightmare at its best. No woman wants to go through that. But we have to fight to make sure our rights are preserved to obtain a safe one if we need to. I never wanted to speak about this experience. But I cannot remain silent when so much is at stake. #prochoice #prochoicegeneration
Milla Jovovich gave a comprehensive explanation of the state of abortion laws in this country before sharing her own story — one that, per her own admissions, she “never wanted to speak about.” Given the laws she’s just outlined, however, she concludes that she “cannot remain silent when so much is at stake.” Jovovich had an emergency abortion a few years back while 4 1/2 months pregnant, and describes it as “one of the most horrific experiences” she’s ever gone through. “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,” the actress writes, adding that she went into one of the “worst depressions of [her] life” following her abortion.
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
Amber Tamblyn took to Twitter to share a short and sweet statement on her abortion. “In 2012, I had an abortion,” she writes. “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.” And of course, she closes off with the rallying cry: #YouKnowMe.
I had an abortion. I just simply wasn’t in a place, financially or emotionally to take that on. I was and still am glad I had that choice because that’s exactly what it was, it was my choice, my body. #YouKnowMe
— Linsey Godfrey (@linseygodfrey) May 16, 2019
Lindsey Godfrey also shared a quick description of her abortion on Twitter, and emphasizes that it wasn’t a particularly dramatic or life-threatening situation. “I had an abortion,” she writes plainly. “I just simply wasn’t in a place, financially or emotionally to take that on. I was and still am glad I had that choice because that’s exactly what it was, it was my choice, my body.” She doesn’t need to provide any further explanation, the tweet implies — it’s her choice, and it’s her business why.
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#YouKnowMe- I’m from Mississippi, living in California, married with 2 kids, & I had an abortion. If I was still down south, I might not have been able to get the abortion I wanted & needed. My mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again & I made the best decision for ME & ultimately my family. It wasn’t the “easy thing to do”, it was excruciating on many levels, but necessary. Do I regret it or question my choice? Not at all. – I’m not alone either. Did you know the majority of abortions in Alabama in 2017 were already parents? Did you know 1-4 women have had an abortion? This isn’t something that only affects women either, In the words of my friend @alokvmenon: “Abortion is a queer issue. Abortion is a trans issue. Abortion is a non-binary issue. A lot of people still mistakenly believe that only cis women & heterosexual people can get pregnant / have abortions & this rhetoric erases queer women, trans men, and non-binary people who have a disproportionately difficult time accessing abortions.” .. – Abortion is healthcare & folx living down south need safe access to abortions. I just donated to @yellowfund which is a grassroots organization funding safe abortion access in Alabama & if you can, please consider donating to them or @abortionfunds, @prochoiceamerica, @sistersong_woc ❤️ Don’t let these old white men tell us what we should do with our bodies. #prochoice #abortionisahumanright
Tess Holliday, who is Mississippi-born but now lives in California, reflects on the fact that the abortion she “wanted & needed” might not have been possible if she’d stayed down south. Holliday, a married mother of two, says the decision to get an abortion wasn’t easy: “it was excruciating on many levels, but necessary,” the model shares. ” Do I regret it or question my choice? Not at all.” Ultimately, it came down to her mental health. Holliday knew herself well enough to know she “couldn’t handle being pregnant again,” and made the tough choice because it was bets for and her family. She notes that her experience of having an abortion as a parent is far from unique, and in fact ” the majority of abortions in Alabama in 2017 were already parents.” She closes out with a reminder that abortion is not just a heterosexual issue, or women’s issue, including a quote reminding people that “queer women, trans men, and non-binary people […] have a disproportionately difficult time accessing abortions. Finally, she reminds us that abortion is “healthcare,” and “folx down south need safe access.”