A mother recently took to the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok to showcase an event many consider private and deeply personal — her at-home abortion process. “Monica,” a 25-year-old from Los Angeles, documented her chemical abortion for her TikTok followers, garnering over 3.1 million views.
Monica claimed that she aimed to help “abortion become more normalized and seen as what it is — healthcare.” Yet, the video’s popularity and its polarized reactions highlight a broader issue. Has social media, particularly platforms like TikTok, become enablers of what some might label as anti-social or even anti-human behavior?
There’s no denying that the topic of abortion is deeply divisive. On the one hand, people like Monica view it as a necessary healthcare procedure, emphasizing destigmatizing the act. On the other hand, many believe that life begins at conception. Posting such a personal journey on TikTok raises ethical and moral questions.
This is not for healthcare. Mother Posts At-Home Abortion on TikTok https://t.co/kggYXZyet9
— deborah green (@NewaiGreen) August 21, 2023
Monica’s statement, aimed at creating “a safe space for women,” gathered many reactions. While some expressed gratitude for her openness, others showed disbelief and dismay at the choice of platform. One viewer rightly questioned, “WTF, why is this on TikTok?”
Notably, the chemical abortion method Monica showcased involves using mifepristone and misoprostol. The drugs work together to end the developing baby’s life within the womb. The Guttmacher Institute found that mifepristone alone was used in 53% of all U.S. abortions in 2020, an alarming increase from 39% in 2017.
The U.S. landscape on abortion has undergone significant changes, with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022. Following the ruling, 13 states have implemented full abortion bans from conception, while places like Georgia restricted it after six weeks.
Interestingly, despite these legislative changes, American support for abortion appears to have grown. Pew Research Center found that in 2023, 46% of respondents in states with bans thought abortion access should be easier, up from 31% in 2019.
Platforms like TikTok play an undeniable role in shaping public perception and opinion. In the digital age, personal stories become global, and the line between private and public life blurs. With millions tuning in to Monica’s TikTok video, the debate around the ethics of using social media for such purposes intensifies.
While many users rushed to praise Monica, filming and broadcasting the termination of unborn life on social media raises more profound questions about our societal values. Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed when sharing personal experiences online? And if so, did this video breach it?
While Monica hopes her video will help normalize abortion, the conservative viewpoint emphasizes the sanctity of life and the potential consequences of turning such a serious topic into social media content. As we navigate these challenging times, we must question the boundaries of what should be shared online and reflect upon the profound impact of platforms like TikTok on our cultural narratives.
By using these platforms for more than dance challenges and comedic skits, we must ponder: Are we recklessly using powerful tools without fully grasping their societal consequences?