15 Women Who Are Fighting Stigma By Sharing Their Stories With #ShoutYourAbortion

Breaking the silence.

For an issue that triggers plenty of red-faced shouting, people don't talk about abortion much. Discussions are usually hypothetical, and women who have had them often won't bring it up.

Activist Lindy West wants to dismantle the implicit gag rule surrounding abortion by getting women to share their abortion stories. In a piece she wrote for The Guardian, West described her positive experience with the abortion pill and said she found it disturbing that she and her friends never discuss abortion. When a friend posted a statement on Facebook responding to recent cuts to Planned Parenthood and how politicians assume "abortion is still something to be whispered about," West responded by tweeting, "Don't whisper, #ShoutYourAbortion."

Use of the word "shout" isn't a glorification of having abortions, but rather a rejection of the fear that surrounds it.

West explained:

"Telling our stories at full volume chips away at stigma, at lies, at the climate of shame that destroys the lives (sometimes literally) of women and girls and anyone anywhere on the gender spectrum who can become pregnant, especially those living in poverty, in rural areas and in hyper-religious and conservative households."

The stories that have come out reveal the variety of motives behind women's decisions and underscore some of the ways their lives are better because of their decisions. Here are just a couple of the ones that have been shared so far.

Some women explained they were too young to have a child.

While others described how their abortion allowed them to build a career and possibly support a family later in life.

Others did it for their health.

Some chose to have abortions because they were in abusive situations.

While others felt they didn't need to justify their decisions to anyone.

And some women who had never had one discussed why they support women who have.