Over the past 10 days, Georgia and Alabama passed dangerously restrictive abortion laws that will put the lives and health of women in jeopardy. With Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill,” women won’t be able to receive abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which can happen after just six weeks into a pregnancy and two weeks after your first missed period. And in Alabama, unless a woman’s life is at risk, she cannot receive an abortion, which means if she was raped or a survivor of incest, she’s out of luck and might have to resort to other, dangerous options. As for the doctors in Alabama, they’d be charged with a felony for performing an abortion.
Basically, this is so effed up and so, so scary, and celebrities have taken to sharing their abortion stories to put a face to just a few of the many women who have ended a pregnancy. Busy Philipps even started a hashtag (#youknowme) to encourage women to speak out, and many celebrities have followed suit using it.
Here are a few of the women who spoke up this week:
The former Planned Parenthood president said, “I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me, and it wasn’t a hard one… But the fact is, we shouldn’t have to share our most personal experiences simply to try to generate a measure of empathy from politicians.”
I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me, and it wasn’t a hard one. My husband and I were working more than full time and had three kids already. I was fortunate that, at the time, accessing abortion in TX was not the nightmare it is now. #YouKnowMe
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) May 16, 2019
On her Busy Tonight show, the host said, “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… Is it kind of jarring? Yes, it is also kind of jarring. But, guess what? That’s what being a f—ing woman is. Having a regular Tuesday and then suddenly being reminded that people are trying to police your body. And then you just have to go back to work.”
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. 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.
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 15, 2019
Using #youknowme, the Sex and the City star said her mother had an illegal abortion 60 years ago and her wife had a legal abortion in 2010 when they “found out her pregnancy was not viable.”
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
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) May 16, 2019
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants actress said having an abortion was “one of the hardest decisions” she ever made, but it was still “the right choice.”
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
Friday Night Lights actress Minka Kelly shared her story on Instagram and said, “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.”
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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
After the Georgia law was passed, the Good Place actress said having an abortionwas the best decision for her and without access to safe abortions, “so many children will end up in foster homes.” She also noted it would be difficult to find suitable families for these children to live with.
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
MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell said she shared her story so people can know someone who has had an abortion.
I had an abortion when I was 18 years old. I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about it on here but I’m not ashamed so I’m sharing today because if #youknowme then you know someone who has had an abortion.
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) May 16, 2019
The model opened up and said she had an abortion because her “mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again” and said it was “excruciating on many levels, but necessary.
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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
Model and actress Milla Jovovich said she had to undergo an emergency abortion two years ago when she was four and a half months pregnant. She added, “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.”
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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
Divergent actress Ashley Judd used Busy’s hashtag and wrote, “Raped at 30, I terminated the pregnancy. Additionally, the rapist would have had paternity rights.”
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Featured image: PAUL ARCHULETA | GETTY IMAGES
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.