Abortion War Wages On…On Twitter

Whether you understand it or not, Twitter has become a social media phenomenon.  With over 175 million users, Twitter is one of the top 10 most visited websites in the world.

It was only a matter of time before the abortion debate surfaced in tweets.  Angie Jackson live-tweeted her RU-486-induced abortion in February and several women have followed her lead since then.  Numbers of mothers tweeting about their abortion is bound to increase with the advent of the hashtag #IHadAnAbortion.  (A hashtag groups all tweets about a certain topic onto one page.)

Steph Herold started the campaign right after the election in which a record number of Pro-Lifers were elected.  Herold asked women to come out about their abortion and talk about the experience, all in 140 characters or less.  The movement is also for women who are thinking about having an abortion, in the hope that by talking about abortion and the aftermath, it will dispel the negative cloud hanging over abortion.  Herold is an anti-life activist who started the website IAmDrTiller.com, a tribute to the murdered abortionist Dr. George Tiller, who killed unborn children through the ninth month of pregnancy.  According to the Washington Post, on November 5 the #ihadanabortion topic was among the top 10 most popular topics on Twitter.

However, is the idea even working?  Most tweets in the group are simply people advocating “choice” or linking to other articles, such as the “supposed” link between abortions and depression.  Here in the office, we have been monitoring the tweets and have seen only one person who has openly proclaimed that she had an abortion.  The good news is that Pro-Lifers are starting to get into it by tweeting responses back to the anti-life crowd.

Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of SilentNoMoreAwareness.org, began tweeting and linking to her site, which posts stories of abortion regret.  “It probably started out as a real earnest interest on everybody’s part to talk about what’s best for a woman, but it has fallen into a diatribe,” she said.  “Something as critical as abortion to try to discuss it in 140 characters is an insult to the intensity of what we are talking about.  While I appreciate what they are attempting to do here, it’s simplifying what is a very complicated topic.’’

Posters have said that their tweets are also a way to silence the men and women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.  It is interesting to note how ironic it is that these tweeters are trying to silence people who want to tell their abortion stories—the exact goal of #ihadanabotion.

“Women who have suffered the loss of their children by abortion are the victims of unspeakable trauma – a hideous unspoken violence,” Rachel’s Vineyard founder Theresa Karminski Burke said. “Why is it that tweeters who claim to feel so empowered by abortion feel so intimidated and hyperaroused by the stories of other women who reveal the procedure as an emotionally wrenching act of destruction?”

Several Pro-Life posters have it right. Herold is nervous after the election and is trying to fight back.  However, the story of any abortion cannot be told in just a few words.

http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ Rachel’s Vineyard offers weekend retreats held across the United States for any woman or man who has struggled with the emotional and spiritual pain of an abortion.