The Hijacked Hashtag: The Constitutive Features of Abortion Stigma in the #ShoutYourAbortion Twitter Campaign

Kami Kosenko, Emily Winderman, Abigail Pugh


Although originally intended to destigmatize abortion, the #ShoutYourAbortion Twitter campaign was hijacked by anti-abortionists who linked the hashtag to hundreds of stigmatizing, anti-abortion messages. Using a Twitter Search API, we collected these messages (N = 1,990 tweets) to identify the discursive features of abortion stigma, which we defined as messages that other and label something related to abortion as physically, behaviorally, socially, and/or morally deficient. These messages bore six features: religious references, disgust cues, infamous allusions, imputations, mentions of medical maleficence, and stigma affirmations. The discussion section details the implications of these findings.



stigma, abortion, women’s health

Full Text: