The Alabama State Capitol stands on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama. Today Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a near-total ban on abortion into state law. Women have been taking to social media with #YouKnowMe to share their experiences with abortion.
Photo: Julie Bennett/Getty Images
Photo: Julie Bennett/Getty Images

#YouKnowMe: Women speak out against Alabama’s abortion bill with their own stories

One week before Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the nation’s most restrictive abortion bill on Tuesday, actress Busy Philipps shared her own story on her late-night show, “Busy Tonight.”

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Philipps, who was 15 years old when she had an abortion, also wrote about the experience in her memoir, “This Will Only Hurt a Little,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“The statistic is one in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” she said last Tuesday on the show, citing a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. “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.”

On Wednesday, Philipps tweeted out the same statistic encouraging women to “share your truth.” Thousands of women have come forward to share their private, often harrowing stories.

In an interview with the New York Times, Philipps said she believes the power of the #MeToo movement inspired so many folks to share their personal abortion stories.

“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. That’s the only thing we have.”

Still, some users, despite being moved by the stories, pointed to their frustrations over yet another social media movement sparked by women’s painful life experiences.

Under the Alabama abortion law, abortion or attempted abortion in the state except “in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” is illegal. It reclassifies abortion as a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors. The legislation makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

Six other states, including Georgia, have passed bills this year to narrow the window for abortion.

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