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Anti-choicers, leave our hashtags alone

The #ShoutYourAbortion movement sends an empowering message that should not be affronted

The #ShoutYourAbortion movement is about empowering women faced with a difficult life choice.
The #ShoutYourAbortion movement is about empowering women faced with a difficult life choice.
Image Credits: Phoebe Lim

Isn’t it annoying when people stick their noses in your business? How about a nose in your uterus?

Anti-choicers (‘pro-lifers’) have decidedly come to the conclusion that it’s their right to make decisions for other people. #ShoutYourAbortion is a Twitter hashtag created to encourage those who have had abortions to speak out and break free of the stigma that surrounds the procedure. As Twitter usually goes, the hashtag was quickly infiltrated by naysayers who aimed to shame and silence the people who dared to share their experiences. To the ‘antis,’ I say this: get out of our hashtag.

There is a time and a place for many things, but the negative attacks from those who hate the idea of a person with a uterus making firm, lifelong choices, do not belong in a hashtag centered around empowering women.

If ‘pro-lifers’ are so concerned about the rights of children, why are they inciting hate towards a positive hashtag rather than advocating for more affordable healthcare or childcare services, and raising awareness about the overwhelming problem of child poverty? They are focused on oppressing women and taking away rights to a medical procedure rather than actually doing anything good for the children and parents in the world who are currently struggling to get by.

Unfortunately, these hashtag infiltrators came out with new ideas: the hashtags #ShoutYourAdoption and #IKilledMyBabyAndImProudOfIt — and although to ‘shout your adoption’ would be a lovely sentiment, it is still focused on taking away the right to choose the future of your life through abortion. Many anti-choicers speak of ‘murder’ and ‘pride,’ when this is not the case.

Abortion is about escaping an impossible situation. It’s about starting a conversation we were never permitted to have before abortion was legalized not so long ago. It’s about choice.

#ShoutYourAbortion isn’t bragging or glorifying abortion, it’s instead removing the societal stigma and shame from an important medical procedure. I would say a majority of pregnancies in Canada that end in abortion are unintended. People do not have abortions because they want to; they have them because they need to to salvage their well-being and their futures.

People will continue to have abortions whether it’s legal or not. Criminalizing it results in unsafe abortion procedures that have the potential to put a woman who has conceived at risk of death. If ‘pro-lifers’ value human life so deeply, they should make sure women have access to a safe medical procedure.

Anti-choicers, #ShoutYourAbortion does not concern you. We understand that you value human life. Instead, please go picket a Stephen Harper speech — I’ve heard he’s planning to defund health care — and leave be a hashtag meant to empower women everywhere.

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