Tens of thousands of women have shared their experiences of abortion on Twitter, to open-up the conversation and tackle the stigma attached to the procedure.
When the U.S. House of Representatives revoked federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the U.S. organization that gives contraceptive counsel, campaigners Lindy West, Amelia Bonow and Kimberly Morrison started the Twitter hashtag “#ShoutYourAbortion” on Twitter.
The hashtag took off worldwide, trending on Tuesday in the U.S., Australia and Europe, with 60,000 women, and counting, posting about their terminations.
I had an abortion at 17. I was a child myself and in no position to have one of my own. It saved my life. No regrets. #ShoutYourAbortion— Zoe (@zoescaman) September 22, 2015
So here's my #ShoutYourAbortion: I was pregnant when I didn't want to be. I got to decide and I owe no one an explanation for my decision.— PlatformDoubleSnazz (@disnazzio) September 22, 2015
Others used the phrase to an explain an opinion on abortion, with both pro-choice and pro-life activists engaged.
While some praised the initiative for removing the shame in terminating a pregnancy, others criticized the tag for supposedly glorifying it.
Persnally,I would never have an abortion however those who wish to should be able to without being subjected to prejudice #ShoutYourAbortion— Honorable Kay (@Kay_Bianca) September 22, 2015
Don't like Abortion? Then don't have one Everyone wins. Debate Over. Mind your own business. #ShoutYourAbortion— Ryan Cullen (@RyanCullen90) September 22, 2015
#ShoutYourAbortion I'm proud to live in a country where women can have a say over their bodies. I'm saddened they're made to feel ashamed— Sophie Wilkinson (@sophwilkinson) September 22, 2015
If bros could get pregnant, abortions would be ok. A bro might even accompany his fellow bro & they'd call it an abrotion #ShoutYourAbortion— Lisa Vikingstad™ (@LisaVikingstad) September 22, 2015
Some states in the U.S., such as Texas, are seeing to reduce abortion rights, with few legal clinics remaining, although half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are planned, according to Guttmacher.
The World Health Organization states that where abortion is permitted on broad legal grounds, it is generally safe, and where it is highly restricted, it is typically unsafe. In developing countries, relatively liberal abortion laws are associated with fewer negative health consequences from unsafe abortions than are highly restrictive laws.
In Latin America only Cuba,Uruguay and Puerto Rico allow abortions without restriction, though Uruguay still has a complicated procedure in place in order to get an abortion.
Chile, which has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, prohibiting terminations under all circumstances including rape and the mother’s life being at risk, is now debating a change in the law.