Choice: Eradicating the stigma behind abortion through hashtags and social media solidarity

With the Republican push to defund Planned Parenthood, women have responded on social media. #ShoutYourAbortion, gives women a voice and a story to the procedure that so many on the right are staunchly against.

The biggest problem with the argument of abortion as a reason to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood is that no federal money goes to abortions in the first place.

The Hyde Amendment is part of the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill that prevents Medicaid and any other programs under these departments from funding abortions, except in limited cases (if the life of the mother is in danger, rape and incest). The amendment has been in effect since the year 1976.

The common argument that has been made in support of Planned Parenthood is that abortions only make up a small percentage of the services it provides (3 percent, according to the organization’s most recent fact sheet).

Funds taken from Planned Parenthood will affect the other services it provides, not abortions.

However, the reason people feel comfortable with the idea of defunding Planned Parenthood is because we aren’t supposed to talk about abortion. We aren’t supposed to let the world know that sometimes the right choice for a woman is not to have a child.

#ShoutYourAbortion aims to destroy that social convention. Women are getting loud about their abortion experiences on social media and tearing down the stigmas associated with the procedure.

It’s easy for those against abortion to think about the procedure only applying to a certain class of women or women they would deem unsavory anyway. It isn’t likely that they think of abortion affecting the women they know, love and call their friends.

However, the #ShoutYourAbortion stories prove that women who have had abortions come from all walks of life, experiences. They have different reasons for making the choice, but the important thing is that the choice was theirs to make.