Is Tweeting About Abortion Effective?

There’s no denying that Twitter has become a monumental social networking tool — and of late, it’s become a part of the abortion debate. In recent days, Twitterers have taken to their accounts in support of a woman’s right to choose. The #ihadanabortion hash tag encourages women to openly discuss their abortion experiences, in an effort to demystify and de-stigmatize abortion. Women and men of all stripes have been tweeting their abortion experiences. Some examples:

“After I told my mom #ihadanabortion she told me about hers > she told my Gma about both > Gma told about illegal AB.”

“I support #IHadAnAbortion TT bc stigma undermines this personal & often difficult decision. I support it bc I #trustwomen.”

“I may lose followers for this but #IHadAnAbortion & I don’t regret it. It was the best choice for me & my husband. #Prochoice”

“Though I can’t say #ihadanabortion, I can support any woman who has.”

The aim of the Twitter trend is to bring the topic of abortion into the mainstream — to put it out there and allow a dialogue around it to begin. Not surprisingly, there have been some dissenting voices arguing from a pro-life stance. But even some pro-choicers wonder what the point of the Twitter campaign really is and question its provocative nature. As Salon writer Tracy Clark-Flory notes, “It seems silly to argue over whether tweeting about your abortion is provocative; of course it is, and the point is to make it less so. The real question is whether or not the #ihadanabortion thread is an effective step in that direction.”

What do you think? Is tweeting about abortion an effective pro-choice tactic, or does it minimize the true emotional impact of the act? [Salon]

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