Busy Philipps' Hashtag #YouKnowMe Prompts Women to Share Abortion Stories
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.