#ShoutYourAbortion Initiator Driven from Her Home by Woman-Hating “Pro-Lifers”
Yes, There IS a War on Women—and We Must Fight Back!

by Sunsara Taylor | October 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On September 19, two young women—Amelia Bonow and Lindy West—started the Twitter hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion to challenge the stigma and shame that hangs over abortion. Now, Amelia Bonow has been driven from her home by death threats and harassment from so-called “pro-lifers.” This tells you everything you need to know about the fight over abortion. It has never been about “babies,” it has always been about control over—and hatred for—women. Now, with abortion under attack as never before, it is time to stand and fight for women’s lives.

What exactly did Amelia Bonow say that set all this off? Frustrated by the witch hunt being conducted against Planned Parenthood by Christian fascist politicians who threatened to shut down the entire government, Ms. Bonow realized that even among her vehemently pro-choice friends she never talked openly about her abortion. So she decided to. She shared her story on Facebook, ending with the following straightforward statement: “I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?” Soon after, her friend Ms. West reposted her message on Twitter with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.

More than 150,000 tweets rang forth in response. Women who had never spoken publicly about their abortions before tweeted that, without their abortions, they would still be tied to abusive partners, rapists, or relationships that were simply unfulfilling. They tweeted about being too young, too poor, too unhealthy, or not ready. They tweeted about simply not wanting a child and feeling perfectly fine with it. And they heard each other’s stories. They found out that their friends and their mothers had also had abortions. They found out that strangers across the country had gone through the exact same experiences and emotions. They realized that there had been a heavy weight on them for never having spoken about their abortions in public before, and they began to cast it off.

They did this in defiance of the Christian fascists in the Republican Party, but they also did this in defiance—objectively, if not always intentionally and self-consciously—of the Democratic Party, which has for decades preached that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” By insisting that abortion should be “rare,” these Democrats have capitulated to, and helped fuel, a climate and culture where even the word “abortion” is rarely uttered, where it is viewed as shameful and wrong—when in fact there is absolutely nothing wrong with abortion and it should be done as often as necessary without any stigma or shame.

This plainspoken and unapologetic tweeting about abortion was refreshing and needed! It was utterly correct, sane, and moral.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

However, like everything that touches deeply on the role that women play in society, there was an immediate and vicious reaction. Anti-abortion fanatics, religious fascists, and woman-haters of all kinds jumped on the hashtag and began spewing hatred and shame. Those who courageously tweeted about their abortions were barraged in the same way that women who enter abortion clinics each and every day are barraged with harassment—they were called “murderers” and “selfish” and “sluts” and every other vile thing I refuse to type that woman-haters call women. Fetuses were compared to Jewish people, and women who get abortions were compared to Hitler, demeaning women and belittling the horrors of the Holocaust at the same time. The former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann joined in condemning and shaming those who tweeted #ShoutYourAbortion. Soon, anti-abortion fanatics had published Amelia Bonow’s home address and she began receiving death threats and rape threats from a movement that has bombed and vandalized hundreds of clinics and murdered eight people for being part of providing abortions.

What was all this about? It is about defending and further enforcing the shame and stigma on women. It is about telling women to “stay in your place” and “be silent” as your rights are stripped away from you and other women across the country. It is about making an example of those who speak out and sending a message to everyone else not to dare. This must be answered. It must be answered with even greater defiance among even greater numbers of people. It must be answered by pro-choice people having the backs of Amelia Bonow and Lindy West, and of all the doctors and staff who provide abortions, and all those who are courageous enough to speak out, defend abortion clinics, and say plainly and publicly that they are not ashamed or apologetic about their abortions. It must be answered by going even further, going beyond social media and into the public square—into the streets.

All this makes the call that has been issued by StopPatriarchy.org for massive Abortion Rights Protests in Washington, DC, and San Francisco this January 22, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade’s legalization of abortion, even more urgent. Every year tens of thousands march against abortion. They must not be the only voice. Stand up for women: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!



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