- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A #ShoutYourAbortion campaign meant to shatter the stigma surrounding abortion has gone viral on social media as women tweet their personal experiences.

Activists Lindy West, Amelia Bonow and Kimberly Morrison started the campaign over the weekend after the U.S. House voted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, the Agence France-Presse reported. They say it’s intended to empower women to speak freely about their abortions. Thousands of women have since seized the opportunity.

“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,” Ms. West tweeted Sunday.

In an article for The Guardian, she wrote, “Abortion is common. Abortion is happening. Abortion needs to be legal, safe and accessible to everyone. Abortion is a thing you can say out loud. I am not sorry.”

Ms. Bonow also recounted the story of her abortion and the “inexpressible level of gratitude” she felt afterward.

“I am telling you this today because the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about,” she wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “Plenty of people still believe that on some level — if you are a good woman — abortion is a choice which should 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?”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards thanked the women for starting the conversation, tweeting, “Fearless women right here. #ShoutYourAbortion.”

Tens of thousands of women were thought to have shared similar stories with the hashtag, based on Web analytics sites, AFP reported, but many social conservatives hijacked the hashtag in order to criticize it.

“I’m sure the babies would love to participate in the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign, but they’ve been murdered and sold for parts,” tweeted blogger Matt Walsh.

Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin tweeted, “Shout this LOUDER: #PPSellsBabyParts.”

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