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#YouKnowMe is a hashtag started by actress Busy Philipps on Twitter following Alabama's 2019 abortion ban. The hashtag has been used by women as a vehicle to share their experience with abortion.


On May 14th, 2019, @BusyPhilipps[1] tweeted, "1 in 4 women have had an abortion.[6] Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. 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" (shown below). The tweet has gained over 10,800 retweets and 54,000 likes in three days.

Busy Philipps tweet calling people to share their abortion stories with a hashtag


On May 15th, 2019 the New York Times[7] published an interview with Busy Philipps. In the interview, shared how she has been responding to backlash:

"I had some of the trolls hit me up, and a lot of people were like, 'How could you be proud of this thing you have done?' I never said I was proud of it. It’s a thing I experienced as a woman that many women in this country and around the world have experienced. I refuse to live in shame, and I refuse to hold on to something that I have no shame about."

On May 15th, many women, celebrities or not shared their stories. Cynthia Nixon[2] tweeted, "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" (shown below, left). The tweet gained over 17,200 likes and 1,700 retweets in three days. That same day, Twitter user @JessicaValenti[3] tweeted, "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" (shown below, right). The tweet accumulated over 5,000 likes in two days.

Cynthia Nixon #YouKnowMe tweet about her personal experiences with abortion #YouKnowMe tweet about having a necessary abortion

That same day, some Twitter users used the hashtag to address the bigger picture. Twitter user @jessphoenix2018[4] said, "If you think you don't know anyone who has had an abortion, that's because no one you know has felt safe enough with you to share their truth with you" which gained over 6,900 likes in two days (shown below, left). The next day @NotDorothy[5] tweeted, "Let me point out that Alabama and Missouri have passed these bills stating it is to preserve ALL life. Yet, both states still have and use the death penalty. Alabama has an execution scheduled for today. It's not about life. It's about control and religion. #YouKnowMe" (shown below, right). The tweet garnered over 3,500 likes in a day.

#YouKnowMe tweet about the reason people think they don't know anyone who had an abortion #YouKnowMe tweet criticizing double standards regarding abortion bans and the death penalty

Various Examples

Deb K-G @Kysyja I was 21, single, and pregnant. I did not want to be a single mom. It was 1974. The decision to have an abortion was not difficult. I was very relieved afterward & I've had no regrets. I'm grateful to the 7 justices who ruled in favor of #womensrights. Now #YouKnowMe even better 4:24 AM-17 May 2019 Poppins @p swantek I held my daughters hand though her abortion and I will hold anyones hand who needs it.But no one needs to explain why to me. #YouKnowMe 7:21 AM -16 May 2019 Vanessa Lannister. Lil Pedro4Lyfe My mom told me today that back in the day pregnant girls would repeatedly ride across train tracks on the back of motorcycles in hopes to abort pregnancies. Other they would throw themselves down the stair. You can't ban it. You can only make it more dangerous. #YouKnowMe 6:59 PM - 15 May 2019 Wanda Reardart GReardart Date r---- at 21. So awful I put it out of my head. Got pregnant. Parents said, what ever you want to do we'll support your decision. I'll never forget their support. I made the right decision. #Youknowme 11:15 PM-15 May 2019 Alexis Byrns MrzLexyDByrnz I was 19. On BC & Antibiotics. Found out I was pregnant during my placebo week. I was a Working FF/Medic. I was scared. I called clinics, churches & adoption agencies. NOT ONE pro-life option treated me w/ respect. I felt judged & shamed. I was told I was going to hell #YouKnowMe 8:38 AM 17 May 2019 ERA OF Amber Tamblyn NITION ambertamblyn 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. #You KnowMe 9:02 AM -16 May 2019

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – BusyPhilipps

[2] Twitter – CynthiaNixon

[3] Twitter – JessicaValenti

[4] Twitter – JessPhoenix2018

[5] Twitter – NotDorothy

[6] AphaPublications – 1 in 4 women

[7] NYTimes – Busy Philipps

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