Last month, a group of women discussed the stories of their abortions, as a way to open up a dialogue around the pro-choice movement in the U.S.
The #ShoutYourAbortion campaign was started by Amelia Bonow and Lindy West who wanted to de-stigmatise the issue and, soon, hundreds of women had talked about their terminations on Twitter.
At the time, Bonow said:
The narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about. Plenty of people still believe that on some level – if you are a good woman – abortion is a choice that should be accompanied by some level of sadness, shame, or regret.
But you know what? I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?
While many will agree with that view and support a woman’s choices, the important dialogue created by the Twitter campaign also opened up the chance for trolls to tweet abuse to these women.
Sadly, as you may expect, some of the messages these women received were thoroughly unpleasant and the A is for Abortion campaign has brought West and Bonow together with Margaret Cho, Martha Plimpton, Kirsten West Savali and Ijeoma Oluo to read out some of the abuse they received.
It’s like Jimmy Kimmel’s popular ‘Mean Tweets’ series, except less funny and more horrific in a way which shows the worst aspects of humanity. Take this gem for example: “You are a filthy baby killer and will pay. The father has the right to execute you”. Unbelievable.
And people actually wonder why so many women are nervous about speaking out on issues like this?