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Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 29: Busy Philipps speaks on the "Busy Tonight" panel during the NBCUniversal portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 29, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775283183 ORIG FILE ID: 1126008800 (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps is asking women who have had abortions to tell their stories as part of a push against anti-abortion legislation being considered and enacted in a number of states.

Philipps’ effort comes as Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday signed a near-total abortion ban. The state is one of a dozen that have passed or attempted to pass stricter abortion legislation this year. 

Philipps, who recently shared her story about having an abortion at 15, reached out to other women on social media as part of the launch of her #YouKnowMe campaign, saying one in four have had abortions. Sharing stories will help to end the shame often associated with abortion, she wrote.

“There is an attack on women happening in this country right now. I won’t be silent and I have no shame about my personal choice. I am 1 in 4. #youknowme ❤️ I know there is power in sharing our stories. I know it,” she wrote in an Instagram post that has attracted nearly 120,000 likes since being posted earlier Wednesday.

Philipps, who also advocates donations to organizations fighting “these draconian laws,” doesn’t cite a source for her statistic. However, a 2017 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, which focuses on issues relating to reproductive health and rights, cites the same statistic and says 23.7% of women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the age of 45. 

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There is an attack on women happening in this country right now. I won't be silent and I have no shame about my personal choice. I am 1 in 4. #youknowme ❤️ I know there is power in sharing our stories. I know it. There is also power in following and donating to some of the organizations doing work to try to stop these draconian laws from going into effect: @prochoiceamerica @plannedparenthood @yellowfund @reprorights

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

In a parallel message on Twitter, which has had more than 5,800 retweets and 29,000 likes since Tuesday, Philipps, the host of the E! talk show “Busy Tonight,” cited the statistic and included the hashtag: “1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.”

1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.

Philipps, 39, tearfully discussed her abortion on the May 7 edition of her series, saying she was motivated by Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” restricting abortion. 

“I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away,” she said.

Philipps added: “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.”

Many other celebrities, including Lady Gaga, actor Alyssa Milano and director Ava DuVernay, took to social media to push back against anti-abortion legislation.

Gaga offered her prayers and detailed her thoughts: “It is an outrage to ban abortion in Alabama period, and all the more heinous that it excludes those (who) have been raped or are experiencing incest non-consensual or not. So there’s a higher penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists? This is a travesty and I pray for all these women and young girls who will suffer at the hands of this system.”

#AlabamaAbortionBan#Alabama#AlabamaSenate#NoUterusNoOpinion#PlannedParenthood#ProChoice I love you Alabama prayers to all women and young girls here are my thoughts: pic.twitter.com/LqmVyV8qsA

In one of a number of tweets opposing the legislation, Milano said the efforts in various states are part of a larger Republican war on women.

“There have been nearly 30 bans on abortion introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country this year alone,” she wrote. “This is Trump’s anti-choice agenda and part of the GOP’s war on women.” 

There have been nearly 30 bans on abortion introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country this year alone.

This is Trump’s anti-choice agenda and part of the GOP’s war on women.

DuVernay, responding to a news report about the progress of the Alabama legislation, wrote that the current situation cannot be normalized and that it requires action.

“Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day,” she wrote. “Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up.” 

Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up. https://t.co/kIz78uAU1T

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