When I attended the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival, there was one booth that stood out to me from all the rest. It was not about apples, but books. It belonged to an independent, radical book publisher called PM Press.
There were many to choose from, and I definitely took my time browsing. Soon, I stumbled upon a whole selection of books on abortion and one book called “Shout Your Abortion.”
“Shout Your Abortion” is a project that began in 2015 following the U.S. Congress’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Amelia Bonow decided to share on Facebook the story of her abortion at Planned Parenthood. Her friend shared the post with the hashtag “ShoutYourAbortion” and soon the hashtag went viral.
For too long, politicians have dominated the abortion conversation, framing it as a political issue, and not something that affects real people. That is why #ShoutYourAbortion was so legendary; it allowed people who have experience with abortion to take control of the abortion narrative. The hashtag was tweeted over 300,000 times, with people sharing their personal stories and creative work about their abortions.
Now, #ShoutYourAbortion is a thriving, nationwide social media campaign.
Their mission statement is as follows:
“Shout Your Abortion is normalizing abortion and elevating safe paths to access, regardless of legality. SYA makes resources, campaigns, and media intended to arm existing activists, create new ones, and foster collective participation in abortion access all over the country.”
I was shocked to learn about #ShoutYourAbortion seven years after its inception because reproductive health justice is my passion. Still, it gave me a newfound appreciation for the power of community.
While browsing the book selection, I had a conversation with the man running the booth. He told me that PM just recently bought a warehouse in Binghamton, NY, and is going through the process of getting a retail store front in Ithaca.
I left the PM Press booth with new books in my hands and a newsworthy story to tell.
If I had not attended a local festival, I would’ve never gained new knowledge about a topic I care so deeply about, and I never would’ve found an exciting new story. You can now read it at IthacaWeek-ic.com.
If you are a journalist, I highly encourage you to get involved in your local community. Attend events! Meet people! Trust me, it will pay off.