Recently I’ve begun to notice an unintended level of diversity in my Facebook feed. I have a very diverse set of friends when it comes to their opinions. I’m not particularly conservative in my personal beliefs. I’m fairly liberal, but I’ve noticed that my Facebook friends run the gamut from very conservative to very liberal.
This isn’t something I’ve done intentionally, but I think it’s a great example of the diversity in my life. I meet people of all types and connect with them for different reasons. I’m mentioning this because it’s what led me to write this Side Eye Report.
One of my Facebook friends shared a post about the #shoutyourabortion campaign that was happening on Twitter. He wasn’t too pleased about it and expressed his thoughts as such. Since then, another of my friends has expressed similarly negative thoughts.
Now when it comes to the issue of abortions, I’m definitively pro-choice for everyone and pro-life for myself. This is because I could never see myself having an abortion, but I think every woman should have the right to decide for herself as I have. I have friends that have had abortions and friends that chose not to and are raising their children. They did what was best for them in that moment. I support their choices.
When I saw the initial post about the #shoutyourabortion campaign, I clicked on it out of curiosity. It was this article on Buzzfeed: Two Women Started a Hashtag Encouraging Others to #ShoutYourAbortion.
As I read the article, I was saddened then annoyed by it, and now I’m writing this post. I appreciate Buzzfeed for sharing it, but I think the ladies that created the hashtag are being very dismissive of the serious nature of having an abortion.
The tweets came off as very cavalier and flippant about the decision to terminate a pregnancy. I realize that the intention behind the hashtag was to make abortion less of a taboo topic by helping to remove the shame around having one. I can appreciate that intention. Unfortunately, that intention may have been lost in the execution of the campaign.
If we’re being honest, I think the intention was lost. What I saw was a bunch of selfish women bragging about having an abortion and how awesome their lives are now that they’re not saddled with that child.
And I’m not even a pro-life person. I’m pro-choice and think that all women should have the right to have an abortion should they choose. But this campaign was ultimately insensitive and could have been done more respectfully. I think that the hashtag approach in this situation wasn’t the best one. Those ladies could have made their point with more care by creating an abortion story tumblr and inviting women to share their stories of abortion. The creators of the hashtag could have done a call (on Twitter and other social media outlets) where they invited people (men are affected by abortion too) to write a paragraph or two about their personal abortion story. This would have left room for more insight to be shared about what goes through the mind of someone considering an abortion and why no one should be made to feel ashamed for their choice.
The decision to have an abortion is a layered issue that can’t be distilled into 140 characters or less. I think the 140 character limit makes Twitter not the best place to discuss something as personal as having an abortion.