#YouKnowMe: Twitter Users Share Abortion Experiences

May 19, 2019
Originally published on May 19, 2019 9:55 am
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In response to the state legislative battles, many women who've had abortions have shared their stories, including actress Busy Philipps on her late-night show on the E! network.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BUSY TONIGHT")

BUSY PHILIPPS: Maybe you're sitting there thinking, I don't know a woman who would have an abortion. Well, you know me. I had an abortion when I was 15 years old. And I'm telling you this because I'm genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Philipps went on to ask people to tweet their own stories on abortion, and #YouKnowMe began to trend on Twitter. Here are the voices of some of the people who tweeted their stories. And a warning, some of them are disturbing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

LINSEY GODFREY: My name is is Linsey Godfrey. I had an abortion. I just simply wasn't in a place - emotionally or financially - to take that on. And I was and still am glad that I had that choice because that's exactly what it was. It was my choice, my body. You know me.

JUSTIN CASELLE: My name is Justin Caselle. I was 22. My girlfriend at the time found out she was pregnant. And we were in no position to keep, let alone have a baby. It was her decision. But it ultimately benefited me, too. Look. I know I'm far from being the only guy with a story like this. So I hope more men speak up - #YouKnowMe.

LETA HONG FINCHER: I'm Leta Hong Fincher. I've taken the Plan B pill three times after botched condom use in my early 20s. One time I was a grad student at Stanford, and the university doctor, at first, refused to give me the pill until I told him if I got pregnant, I would definitely get an abortion.

DEBORAH: My name is Deborah. You know me. I'm a nurse who assisted the second-trimester abortions - mostly in cases of rape and incest. My youngest patient was 11 years old. She was raped by her uncle and came to the hospital with her heartbroken mom. I still have the letter of gratitude that the mom wrote to me.

CLEMENTINE VON RADICS: My name is Clementine Von Radics. This is the most vulnerable poem I've ever written. The poem is called "To The Protester Outside Of The Clinic Who Called Me A Murderer." And it ends, (reading) if I could have spoken to you that day, I would have told you that the thing that I want most in this life is to be a mother. But I know now that's not true. The thing I want most in this life is to be a good mother. And I wasn't ready. So I said goodbye. I thought that was the kind of thing a good mother would do.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hashtags like #YouKnowMe and #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport have driven conversation over the last couple of years. Writer Maya Kosoff made this point on Twitter - All the respect for folks using #YouKnowMe to share their abortion stories. I just wish it didn't feel necessary for people - largely women - to tear themselves open and broadcast and confessionalize their trauma at times like this in order to make a point or be viewed as people. We thank everybody who shared their stories with us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.