Busy Philipps is speaking out about her own abortion, and encouraging others to do the same to counter legislation around the country. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps is asking women who have had abortions to tell their stories as part of a push against anti-abortion legislation being considered and enacted in a number of states.

Philipps’ effort comes as Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday signed a near-total abortion ban. The state is one of a dozen that have passed or attempted to pass stricter abortion legislation this year. 

Philipps, who recently shared her story about having an abortion at 15, reached out to other women on social media as part of the launch of her #YouKnowMe campaign, saying one in four have had abortions. Sharing stories will help to end the shame often associated with abortion, she wrote.

“There is an attack on women happening in this country right now. I won’t be silent and I have no shame about my personal choice. I am 1 in 4. #youknowme ❤️ I know there is power in sharing our stories. I know it,” she wrote in an Instagram post that has attracted nearly 120,000 likes since being posted earlier Wednesday.

Philipps, who also advocates donations to organizations fighting “these draconian laws,” doesn’t cite a source for her statistic. However, a 2017 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, which focuses on issues relating to reproductive health and rights, cites the same statistic and says 23.7% of women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the age of 45. 

More: Jameela Jamil, Milla Jovovich open up about past abortions to protest new laws

More: Alabama governor signs near-total abortion ban into law

In a parallel message on Twitter, which has had more than 5,800 retweets and 29,000 likes since Tuesday, Philipps, the host of the E! talk show “Busy Tonight,” cited the statistic and included the hashtag: “1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.”

Philipps, 39, tearfully discussed her abortion on the May 7 edition of her series, saying she was motivated by Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” restricting abortion. 

“I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away,” she said.

More: 25 men voted to ban abortion in Alabama. Do they reflect the rest of America?

Philipps added: “I had an abortion when I was 15 years old and I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country.”

Many other celebrities, including Lady Gaga, actors Reese Witherspoon and Alyssa Milano and director Ava DuVernay, took to social media to push back against anti-abortion legislation.

Gaga offered her prayers and detailed her thoughts: “It is an outrage to ban abortion in Alabama period, and all the more heinous that it excludes those (who) have been raped or are experiencing incest non-consensual or not. So there’s a higher penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists? This is a travesty and I pray for all these women and young girls who will suffer at the hands of this system.”

“I’m beyond upset about the passing of new abortion bans in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio,” Witherspoon tweeted. “This is Unconstitutional and Abhorrent. We can not tolerate this attack on women’s fundamental rights.”

In one of a number of tweets opposing the legislation, Milano said the efforts in various states are part of a larger Republican war on women.

“There have been nearly 30 bans on abortion introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country this year alone,” she wrote. “This is Trump’s anti-choice agenda and part of the GOP’s war on women.” 

DuVernay, responding to a news report about the progress of the Alabama legislation, wrote that the current situation cannot be normalized and that it requires action.

“Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day,” she wrote. “Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up.” 

Actress Michelle Rodriguez also posted a series of tweets decrying the legislation in several states, offering her followers information on how to get involved, urging women to move and saying, “Turning back time to the knuckle dragging era of cave men, sad.”

“The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil warned: “Hope the people of Alabama who want the abortion ban are up for donating their money and space to the MEGA influx of kids in need of care, coming your way.”

“Terrifying + insane” is how musician Maggie Rogers described the legislation in one tweet, adding, “all I’m left with is this boiling feeling of helplessness + anger + fear in my chest. how do you celebrate your mother and then seek to control her?”

Contributing: Dillon Thompson, Montgomery Advertiser

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2019/05/15/busy-philipps-counters-anti-abortion-laws-lady-gaga-others-speak-out/3687928002/