Tess Holliday has revealed she had an abortion as a mother-of-two because she couldn’t mentally handle being pregnant again after suffering postpartum depression.
Using the viral hashtag #YouKnowMe, the 33-year-old plus-size model took to Instagram on Thursday to open up about her abortion in response to Alabama’s decision to impose a near-total ban on the procedure, including those for victims of rape or incest.
‘I’m from Mississippi, living in California, married with 2 kids, & I had an abortion,’ she wrote. ‘If I was still down south, I might not have been able to get the abortion I wanted & needed.’
Honest: Tess Holliday took to Instagram on Thursday to reveal she had an abortion because she couldn’t mentally handle being pregnant again after having postpartum depression
Opening up: The 33-year-old said having an abortion as a mother-of-two was ultimately the best decision for her and her family
Tess, who has been candid about her struggles with postpartum depression on social media, has a two-year-old son named Bowie with her husband Nick Holliday and a 13-year-old son named Rylee from a previous relationship.
‘My mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again & I made the best decision for ME & ultimately my family. It wasn’t the “easy thing to do”, it was excruciating on many levels, but necessary,’ she explained. ‘Do I regret it or question my choice? Not at all.’
Tess noted that many people in Alabama have had similar experiences, explaining that the ‘majority’ of those who had abortions in the state in 2017 were already parents.
‘Did you know 1-4 women have had an abortion?’ she asked. ‘This isn’t something that only affects women either.
Family: The plus-size model has a two-year-old son named Bowie with her husband Nick Holliday and a 13-year-old son named Rylee from a previous relationship
Looking back: Tess suffered from postpartum depression for more than a year after she had Bowie. She is pictured at age 21 with Rylee (left) and at age 31 with Bowie (right)
‘In the words of my friend @alokvmenon: “Abortion is a queer issue. Abortion is a trans issue. Abortion is a non-binary issue. A lot of people still mistakenly believe that only cis women & heterosexual people can get pregnant / have abortions & this rhetoric erases queer women, trans men, and non-binary people who have a disproportionately difficult time accessing abortions.”‘
She stressed that ‘abortion is healthcare’ and people who are ‘living down south need safe access to abortions.’
At the end of her post, she shared that she just donated to the Yellowhammer Fund, a grassroots organization funding safe abortion access in Alabama.
She urged her 1.8 million followers to follow in her footsteps and either donate to The Yellowhammer Fund or similar organizations, including The National Network of Abortion Funds, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.
Honest: ‘It felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again,’ Tess said of her postpartum depression
Healthy outlook: The model has started working out with a trainer to help her mental health
‘Don’t let these old white men tell us what we should do with our bodies. #prochoice #abortionisahumanright,’ she wrote.
Tess suffered from postpartum for more than a year after she welcomed her youngest son Bowie in June 2016.
Speaking with Cosmopolitan UK last year, she said she was in ‘the worst mental state of my life.’
‘It felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again,’ she recalled. ‘I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, “I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.”‘
Fight: Tess’s Instagram post was in response to Alabama’s decision to impose a near-total ban on the procedure. Protesters are pictured outside of the Alabama State House on Tuesday
Votes: The new bill makes all abortions illegal unless they are required to save the mother’s life. The bill was passed 25-6 on Tuesday and all of the votes in favor of it were from men (pictured)
As she explained in her candid Instagram post, having an abortion was necessary for her mental health.
Alabama’s new bill makes all abortions illegal unless they are required to save the mother’s life. It was passed 25-6 on Tuesday and all of the votes in favor of it were from men.
The law — HB 314 — is set to come into effect in six months, and doctors who defy the law could face 99 years in prison.
Thousands of women have shared stories about their abortions using the hashtag #YouKnowMe after news broke about the near-ban.
Busy Philipps started the conversation on Tuesday when she tweeted: ‘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.’
Hitting back: Thousands of women have shared stories about their abortions using the hashtag #YouKnowMe after news broke about the near-ban
The 39-year-old actress, who wrote about having an abortion at age 15 in her memoir ‘This Will Only Hurt a Little,’ defended the rights of ‘women and their doctors’ during an episode of her late night talk show on Tuesday night.
She decried the new controversial law in Georgia that prohibits doctors from performing abortions after they can detect ‘fetal cardiac activity,’ which occurs at about six weeks into a pregnancy.
‘The statistic is that one in four women will have an abortion before age 45,’ she said. ‘That statistic sometimes surprises people, and maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.” Well, you know me.’
Busy told the New York Times that Tina Fey, who is an executive producer on her show, reached out to her after the episode aired and told her that she had struck a chord with viewers.
‘She said, “I think you hit on something, which is ‘you know me.’ It makes it very personal. I think you should think about starting that hashtag,”‘ she explained.
Using her platform: The hashtag was started by Busy Philipps, who defended the rights of ‘women and their doctors’ during an episode of her late night talk show on Tuesday night
Power of the people: The 39-year-old actress started the conversation on Tuesday when she shared this tweet
Trauma: Busy wrote about having an abortion at age 15 in her memoir ‘This Will Only Hurt a Little’
‘It was the day after I had done the show. I felt overwhelmed already by the responses to my show. I had to think about it.
‘Then, last night, I went to dinner with my girlfriends, and we were on our phones reading about the Alabama law. I told them about the hashtag and they said, “Just do it right now. This is the right time to do it.”‘
The hashtag spread like wildfire as women openly shared their personal abortion stories, which varied from those who said they had been raped to people whose babies would have been born with painful, life-altering disabilities.
‘Learning I was pregnant the same week I decided to leave my abuser could have tied me to him forever,’ one woman wrote.
‘I was 12. Need I say more?’ another commented.
‘Had an abortion at 15… my only regret is allowing people to judge me for MY choice,’ someone else tweeted.