Women talking about their abortions in an effort to counter a campaign to close state-funded abortion clinics in America have faced a barrage of abusive messages from pro life campaigners.
My abortion was in '10 & the career I've built since then fulfills me & makes me better able to care for kids I have now. #ShoutYourAbortion— Lindy West (@thelindywest) September 20, 2015
I am pretty disgusted that #ShoutYourAbortion is trending with people celebrating their abortions really killing babies— David Jones (@DavidJo52951945) September 22, 2015
But pro life campaigners quickly took to the trend, using the hashtag to promote their anti-abortion cause.
Amelia Bonow and Lindy West helped start the trend, and West wrote about her experience at a PP clinic in New York, and has encouraged women to take to Twitter to share their stories as a powerful argument against the defunding of the service.
The suggestion of defunding Planned Parenthood has come about as the American Congress begins to negotiate the federal budget -- as a shutdown resulting from the failure to extend government financing looms.
As part of these negotiations, Reuters reported that Representative Jim Jordan, who leads a group of the most conservative Republican members, said on Monday: "Our position is, we're not going to vote for something that allows money to continue to go to Planned Parenthood."
The #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag has trended worldwide ever since.
And women have braved a wave of criticism to share their stories.
I've had 2 abortions. I don't have to justify or explain them to anybody. My life is more valuable than a potential life. #shoutyourabortion— Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford) September 21, 2015
I had an abortion nine years ago. I don't regret it ever #shoutyourabortion— CharlotteTaylor-Page (@CharlTaylorPage) September 20, 2015
Ex partner of 4 yrs forced me into 2 abortions. My life is better now but only through the support of PP.September 19, 2015
Had an abortion procedure done at age 22 because I was WAY too young to parent. Have never, ever regretted it. #ShoutYourAbortion— Mary Emily O'Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara) September 20, 2015
Choice was a key theme for many of those tweeting on the hashtag.
Men can walk away from parenthood but when a woman decides to make that decision she is shamed? #shoutyourabortion— Syindu. (@pmusesya) September 22, 2015
I became a mother at 19. It was my choice to give birth and become a mother. CHOICE. #shoutyourabortion— Syindu. (@pmusesya) September 22, 2015
There were supportive messages.
A reminder to everyone sharing abortion stories on #ShoutYourAbortion: you are good, kind, loved, & deserving of respect & support.— Steph Herold (@StephHerold) September 22, 2015
It's not about glorifying abortions. It's acknowledging that we deserve the right to manage our own wellness. #ShoutYourAbortion— Autumn (@AutumnKar) September 21, 2015
I haven't had an abortion, but I would get one if I needed it, without shame. I support women and choice. #ShoutYourAbortion— Inness Pryor (@innessfree) September 21, 2015
I'm glad #ShoutYourAbortion is trending. My faith is against abortion but that doesn't stop me from respecting a woman's free will.— #NativeLivesMatter (@NolanHack) September 21, 2015
Reading all the #ShoutYourAbortion makes me feel so proud to be a woman and how strong all of you are. It's our choice and no one elses— Jette (@JetteVirdi) September 20, 2015
Some people disagree with the hashtag
I accept a woman's right to choose an abortion. I do not feel however it is an event for celebration. Poor taste. #ShoutYourAbortion— Diversity Witch (@Deguwitchrose) September 22, 2015
But there's been a strong defence of the hashtag too.
anti-choicers want to ban abortion as well as affordable healthcare, food stamps, cancer screenings. how very "pro life". #ShoutYourAbortion— Laci Green (@gogreen18) September 21, 2015
anti-choicers think a woman's right to her body is a bigger injustice than child hunger, poverty, police brutality, rape. #ShoutYourAbortion— Laci Green (@gogreen18) September 21, 2015
But pro life campaigners have used it to promote their cause -- a warning that some messages are extreme and may cause distress to some readers
The #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag is literally a movement of women who are proud of killing their babies. A new low point for humanity. So sad!— Mathews Michelle (@TheMathews04) September 22, 2015
What has happened to our country where we go to twitter celebrating genocide of innocent children? #ShoutYourAbortion— Thomas (@tjemery1) September 22, 2015
They can't shout their abortion because you killed them. #ShoutYourAbortion— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 22, 2015
All of humanity past and present looks upon what has become of modern feminism and shakes its head in disgust & disbelief #shoutyourabortion— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 22, 2015