The Brief: After Alabama lawmakers voted to ban abortion, Busy Philipps started the hashtag #YouKnowMe to give a face to the 1 in 4 women who have had an abortion.


On Tuesday, the Alabama government voted to pass a law banning abortion in almost all cases, including pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest. In response, actress and talk show host, Busy Philipps started the #youknowme social media conversation to raise awareness about the experiences of people who have had abortions.

She tweeted “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.”

On Wednesday, the Alabama governor signed the bill into law, prompting abortion rights advocates to respond in a range of ways, including with the #youknowme and #youknowus hashtags. The “you know us” hashtag is generally used in the same context as #youknowus but implies a more collective view on how access to abortion affects many people.

Many women and people with uteruses have since used the hashtag to share their abortion stories. Some tweets explain why they chose abortion or how it benefited them, while others merely state the fact that they had one. People who have not had abortions but know someone who has and/or support people’s right to access them have also been using the  #youknowme and #youknowus tags to speak up about reproductive rights.

Like the #metoo movement and hashtag, this campaign demonstrates the breadth of experiences of those who have had abortions, conveying just how important access to legal and safe abortion is.

When it comes to abortion rights, it is important to include trans men and non-binary folks – anyone who can get pregnant – in conversations.

Many people have noted that while sharing abortion stories is important, it should not be a requirement to be given access to agency over one’s body.

Shout Your Abortion is a similar movement that provides a space for people who have had abortions to speak up about their experiences, raising awareness about just how important abortion access is.