How Busy Philipps Inspired Thousands to Share Their Abortion Stories with #YouKnowMe

First came #MeToo, then #BlackLivesMatter and #TimesUp — now the pro-choice movement has a hashtag of its own, #YouKnowMe, courtesy of Busy Philipps.

The actress and late-night host started the hashtag late on Tuesday night, hours after Alabama lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to effectively ban all abortions in the state.

Philipps, 39, who shared the story of her abortion a week prior, encouraged women to do the same on Twitter.

“1 in 4 women have had an abortion,” she tweeted. “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’ post inspired thousands of people — including several celebrities — to post their stories, and the hashtag is still going strong.

The mom of two initially shared her abortion story after Georgia legislators voted in favor of a law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, the earliest point that doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, but often well before women realize they’re pregnant.

“I know that people feel very strongly about abortion, but let me just say this. Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them,” Philipps said on her show Busy Tonight, to cheers from the audience. “Nobody else. Nobody.”

“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 the country,” Philipps continued, visibly emotional.

After Philipps started #YouKnowMe a week later, several other celebrities revealed that they, too, had an abortion, from Milla Jovovich to Tess Holliday to Amber Tamblyn.

Minka Kelly wrote about her abortion on Instagram Thursday morning, saying that it was the “smartest decision” for everyone involved.

“When I was younger I had an abortion,” she wrote on Instagram Thursday morning, along with a photo of the 25 men in Alabama’s Congress who made up the vast majority of votes in favor of the bill. “It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself and my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus.”

She continued: “For a baby to’ve been born to two people — too young and completely ill equipped — with no means or help from family, would have resulted in a child born into an unnecessary world of struggle. Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into.”

Alabama’s bill, along with the “heartbeat bills” that Georgia and several other states — including Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Utah and Arkansas — have passed, are a violation of the 14th amendment, which the Supreme Court determined in the landmark Roe v. Wade case. Anti-abortion lawmakers hope that these bills will lead to lawsuits and eventually head to the Supreme Court, where the newly conservative bench could reverse the Roe v. Wade decision.

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