Amelia Bonow, #ShoutYourAbortion & the Abuse of Other People’s Kids


On Friday, September 18, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funds for one year due to questions surrounding the sale of fetal body parts. The following day, Seattle bartender and publicist Amelia Bonow saw this news and "kind of unraveled." Sitting on her couch crying, she opened up her Facebook and posted a 153-word reaction.

For too long, she lamented, women had been stigmatized into feeling bad and keeping silent about their abortions. She'd had an abortion a year earlier at Planned Parenthood, she announced to her Facebook world, but "I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy." She refused to feel bad about it, and her goal was to encourage more women to speak up so that the debate surrounding abortion might be reframed.

She texted a screenshot of her post to her friend Lindy West, a blogger for, who then tweeted it, adding the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion. That snowballed into more than 300,000 #ShoutYourAbortion-tagged tweets.

"Today Shout Your Abortion (SYA) is both an official organization and a loose, decentralized network of individuals talking about abortion on their own terms," wrote Emily Nokes, a Seattle writer who joined the movement and launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish Shout Your Abortion, the book. "The Shout Your Abortion movement is proof that talking about abortion on one's own terms can be powerful, liberating, and ignite a chain reaction of truth-telling."

Reason for Surveillance:

The reason for your abortion does not matter, Bonow insists. Nor does how you came to be pregnant. "Pregnancy is what happens sometimes when people have sex," she wrote in a follow-up article at, "and an abortion is what happens when a woman becomes pregnant and does not wish to procreate." And her abortion "felt righteous in the most positive sense of the word," she insisted, ramping up the moralism.

In one respect, Bonow is right. Many women do suffer in silence about their abortions, and many of them may find liberation from their troubled emotions in truth-telling. Where she and this newly born tribe of SYA activists go wrong is in insisting that everyone else accept and affirm abortion on their terms—as a positive good, a morally righteous act.

Certainly, they are free to tell their stories, but they don't just get to imperiously impose their abortion (a-)morality on everyone else, whether by demanding that they fund abortion, squelch their own contrary opinions, or deny their troubled consciences about the subject.

Most Egregious Offenses:

Case in point: in early 2018, Bonow teamed up with actress Poppy Liu for a "Bible Belt Abortion Storytelling Tour" covering four southern states plus New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Clearly those Bible people needed to hear how abortion made her happy and was therefore morally righteous.

And worse: in late 2018, she appeared in a breezy little "Kids Meet" video titled "Kids Meet Someone Who's Had an Abortion," where she talked flippantly with children about how she got pregnant and how a doctor can just "suck the pregnancy out of you." A few of the children asked some good questions. Some looked a bit uncomfortable. No bother, the mommy-like "role model" in white pumps reassured them over peppy background music, "I think it's all part of God's plan."

If abortion shouters want the role of teaching theology and morality to children, then I say let them start with their own. This would, of course, require that they stop aborting them. Which actually is a part of God's plan.

is a freelance writer and blogger on apologetics and matters of faith.
This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #48, Spring 2019 Copyright © 2019 Salvo |