#ShoutYourAbortion

The battle lines over abortions have been more and more drawn on Twitter. Shout Your Abortion has become the latest chapter in the lengthy argument concerning the topic of abortion. After the possibility of defunding for Planned Parenthood began, writer Lindy West recently tweeted her views on the idea of abortions and how it ought to be something that shouldn’t be whispered about or shrouded in secrecy.

West is a writer and film criticism editor and won the 2013 Women’s Media Center Social Media award. She wrote a post for the guardians website explaining why she started the campaign. “I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry, and I will not whisper” West says “Last week I realized that, even among my pro-choice friends, I never, ever talk about my abortion. We need to chip away at stigma, at lies, at the climate of shame.”

With a student body made up of 68% females, the York College community is intimately caught up in the Twitter confrontation over the rights of women to control their own bodies. Pro-life advocates counter on Twitter with messages on Shout Your Murder. It is important to see how this Twitter battle moves forward. Women are now more outspoken on the subject as supposed to past years when the negative stigma of abortion had women afraid to speak up.

Lindy West shared a Facebook link to a post from another writer Amelia Bonow. Bonow’s post also talks forcefully about the freedom of not being forced into
motherhood.

“My abortion was in 2010 and the career I’ve built since then fulfills me and makes me better able to care for kids I have now” says Bonow.

When the Shout Your Abortion campaign became familiar around the campus at York College, women were agreeing with Bonow and admired her confidence on speaking out about her personal experience on abortion.

“It’s brave of these women to first of all to share something private and intimate, especially since theres such a stigma attached to it,” says Cheyenne Hamilton from the Women’s Center at York College. “It’s such a judgment that’s always been seen as if you have an abortion you’re just an awful person.”

With the Shout Your Abortion campaign spreading like wild fire throughout social media, women feel empowered to speak out about their abortion rights. However, negative views about abortion have made reproduction freedom a sensitive issue in today’s society.

Republicans are vowing to reject any proposal that includes public money for Planned Parenthood. The Congressional Budget Office released a statement saying that cutting off the women’s health organization from federal money would actually increase public spending by an estimated $130 million over five years. Planned Parenthood receives $500 million annually from the government. Planned Parenthood was thrast into the spotlight this past summer after an anti-abortion group released several videos showing employees discussing the logistics of fetal tissue donation. This reinvigorated the national debate over abortion.

Although many women feel more empowered to discuss their abortion
Rights on #ShoutYourAbortion, others use Twitter to shout their opposition. As a countermove, Pro-life advocates now use Twitter to speak out on #ShoutYourMurder. Surprisingly, not all pro-choice people disapprove of this. Some see these anti-abortion tweets as a way to measure the antagonism against abortion and take it head on.

“I’m not surprised that something like that would develop on the back of the Shout Your Abortion campaign” Director of The Women’s Center Ebonie Jackson says. “Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. So in theory, I’m okay with it. I don’t agree, but I’m ok.”

Women concerned about Republican efforts to take funding away from Planned Parenthood have taken to social media with a hashtag encouraging others to “shout your abortion.” It is no surprise that abortion-rights activists and anti-abortion partisans still argue about who is right and who is wrong. But women’s ability to speak out on their rights grew stronger thanks to this campaign.

“The campaign to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is to be whispered about #ShoutYourAbortion” tweets Lindy. It seems that many pro-choice backers hear West loud and clear.

By jerrythemiah

Junior in college. NYC. 22. Studio Art and Journalism Major.Puerto Rican

CT101 Digital Storytelling