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Busy Philipps superbly sums up why it isn’t brave to share our abortion stories

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Hollie Richardson
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Busy Phillips speaks about her abortion

As the fight against America’s abortion bans continue, Busy Philipps just delivered the most powerful message which everyone should listen to. 

Actor Busy Philipps united with seven other women on Tuesday (4 June) to testify at a hearing in the wake of Louisiana becoming the eighth American state to pass strict abortion bans.

Appearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee, Philipps delivered a powerful testimony speaking against the current threats to women’s reproductive rights in the US.

It came weeks after Philipps revealed her story about having an abortion when she was 15 years old during her live TV show Busy Tonight (which has sadly since been cancelled).

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Philipps superbly articulated why women feel brave for sharing their abortion stories with the #YouKnowMe online campaign.

“In the week after I shared my story on my show, women were coming up to me in the street, in the supermarket, at my gym with tears in their eyes, thanking me for my bravery,” she said. “But the word ‘brave’ didn’t sit right with me. Why is it brave to speak to an experience that millions of people around the world throughout history have gone through? And then I realised it is considered brave because as women we have been taught to feel shame about our bodies since birth.”

She then went on to explain why the reason behind her abortion shouldn’t even matter.

“I am so sad that we have to sit here in front of a row of politicians,”  Philipps  continued. “Because the ‘why’ doesn’t matter. It should not matter. I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free. And choices that a human being makes about their own bodies should not be legislated by strangers who can’t possibly know or understand each individual’s circumstances or beliefs.”

She added: “If I were that 15 year old girl in Arizona today, legally I would have to get parental consent. I would be forced to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound, to go to a state-mandated in-person counselling, designed solely to shame me into changing my mind, then take a state-mandated 24-hour time out to make sure I really knew what I wanted. It was not a decision I made lightly. But I have never for a moment doubted that it was the right decision for me. But so much has changed - in Arizona and other states - since then.

“And finally, I would be forced to give the state a reason why. Well, here is mine: my body belongs to me, not the state. Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them. No one else.”

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The abortion bans have now been passed in states including Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, but other states such as New York are campaigning to protect their existing rights. With 13 more states considering passing the ban, it is essential that testimonies like Philipps are heard by Congress in order to challenge them.

Philipps has since tweeted: “This was one of the scarier things I have done in my life. But I am willing to use my platform and voice to speak for the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe that abortion care is health care and needs to remain safe & legal & accessible.”

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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