#MeToo founder blasts Alabama legislators: 'We see you and we're not backing down'

The activist who founded the #MeToo movement blasted Alabama’s newly-enacted abortion law on Thursday, tying abortion rights to the rights of sexual assault survivors.

Tarana Burke shared in an Instagram post about her past activism in Alabama while putting state lawmakers on notice after they passed a bill this week to ban most abortions in the state.

“To Alabama legislators who voted for this Bill or *abstained* from voting we see you and we’re not backing down,” Burke wrote, including photos for state lawmakers and how each voted.

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She noted that access to abortion was already restricted in Alabama before Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the measure Wednesday, saying there have been “forces at work” to pass similar measures in the state for years.

Burke shared that she did much of her early activism work in Selma, Ala., after graduating from Auburn University, and wrote about how the #MeToo movement was founded in the city.

“It came out of a need to fill a void for the local Black and Brown girls whose lives had been affected by various forms of sexual violence including rape and exploitation,” she wrote. “Many of the girls who came through our program had the need to a safe, affordable abortion and could not get one.”

Burke went on to describe abortion access as an issue going beyond reproductive health and also affecting economic justice, health care access and LGBT rights, adding, “we are not fighting in silos anymore.”

The legislation, which passed the state Senate on Tuesday evening, bans abortion in almost all cases except for threats to the life of the mother.

Ivey argued in a statement announcing her signature for the bill that the law "stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."

Numerous celebrities have taken to social media to blast the law, including actors Cole Sprouse and Reese Witherspoon, as well as actresses Jameela Jamil and Busy Philipps, who both discussed their own abortions in speaking out against the measure.

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The ‘me too.’ Movement was founded in Alabama - Selma, AL to be exact. It came out of a need to fill a void for the local Black and Brown girls whose lives had been affected by various forms of sexual violence including rape and exploitation. Many of the girls who came through our program had the need to a safe, affordable abortion and could not get one. Be CLEAR that it was already almost impossible to get an affordable, safe abortion in Alabama and there have been forces at work to get a bill like this passed for years. But we’ve been fighting too. And those of us in the work recognize that it’s not just a reproductive justice issue - it’s a sexual violence issue, an economic justice issue, an LGBTQ+ rights issue, an affordable healthcare issue and many others - and we are not fighting in silos anymore. To Alabama legislators who voted for this Bill or *abstained* from voting we see you and we’re not backing down.

A post shared by Tarana J. Burke (@taranajaneen) on