Amelia Bonow

Picture of Giraffe Amelia Bonow

In September of 2015 Amelia Bonow was in graduate school working on a Master’s in clinical psychology, tending bar to cover her expenses. Her life was moving along well. Then the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood. She reports being immediately concerned for all the women whose lives would be affected, as hers would have been had a pregnancy changed her plans.

“I kind of unraveled, sitting on my couch crying, wondering, Who’s standing up for the clinic workers? and for women who have abortions? I opened Facebook and, without thinking, wrote, ‘Like a year ago, I had an abortion at Planned Parenthood . . . and I remember this experience with a nearly inexpressible level of gratitude.’ I hit ‘Post’ 153 words later, and everything changed.”

Bonow’s post ended with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion. Her disclosure immediately flooded not only the internet but also print and broadcast media. She received thousands of messages of approval—at the time 70% of Americans supported abortion rights. Many messages were from women saying they too had ended pregnancies. But there were also thousands of furious messages, some including threats.

Someone posted her home address and the threats became even more frightening. Bonow was afraid to open her door and had constant nightmares: “I do not know if I will ever feel totally safe again.”

Nevertheless, she stepped away from her pursuit of a Master’s and created a nonprofit that helps women who were losing their right to control their bodies and their futures.

Bonow spends virtually all her time, energy, and finances for the cause. As well as running her own nonprofit, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Abortion Care Network, has published a book on abortion, writes articles for various media outlets, and speaks at conferences throughout the country.

Bonow doesn't criticize women who see abortion differently, saying that every woman has a right to her own unique psychological, emotional, physical, or spiritual reaction to being pregnant. What she does criticize is the prevention of abortions for women who want them.