A TikTok featuring a young woman and her friend going to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion has gone viral. TikTok user @cpcake21 posted the video, which includes clips of a positive pregnancy test, her friend's stomach, the young women nervously laughing outside of Planned Parenthood, dancing once they're inside, and an ultrasound.
The clip has obviously garnered lots of criticism and hate along with some messages of support. @LilaGraceRose, the founder of anti-abortion organization @LiveAction, posted in a tweet that has been taken down. But it was shared and slammed on Twitter by right-winger Charlie Kirk, where it reached viral status.
While @cpcake21's TikTok is the one that sparked the discussion, it's not the only one of its kind. In another, two young women ride up to Planned Parenthood in a car while "Tequila" plays over the video.
Abortion is, of course, a hot-button issue. The agency of young women seems to spark outrage as well. These TikToks are a perfect concoction of both, ripe for sanctimonious criticism, and people (who, it probably doesn't need to be said have no connection to the young women in the video) had no problem sharing their video to shame them.
Sure, Charlie Kirk. These two young women are "the left." He seems to think they are indicative of a movement of liberals intent on creating a culture in which abortions are celebrated instead of what they probably are, which is two young, kind of scared, kind of relieved women letting off some steam while they access some healthcare.
The negative reactions were relentless. People claimed these two young women were celebrating "murder." Others said they were crying thinking about all the people out there who would want that child, obviously caring nothing for the person who'd have to carry and give birth to that child!
It is truly none of these people's business why this woman is getting an abortion or how she actually feels about it. Nothing in this 20-second video explains what she is actually feeling. Perhaps she's actually broken-up about it, and her friend helped lighten the mood with this video.
But even if she's simply excited not to be burdened with pregnancy and a child, even if she was dancing because she was truly happy to be getting an abortion, that's not for anyone to judge.
I understand the instinct to say, "Abortions should be rare" and, "No one wants anyone to get an abortion, but it should be a right nevertheless." And yes, we should demand that our legislators invest in free birth control and reproductive education.
But I think framing abortion as something no one wishes existed is harmful. Abortions are great. They are live-saving. They are essential. They are healthcare.
It's imperative that women are able to make their own decisions about what to do with their own bodies. Birth control isn't perfect. People make mistakes. Abortion is a safe, minor procedure with little risk. The vast majority of women who have abortions do not regret it.
Not all women in the U.S. have access to safe, legal abortion. We should be celebrating the fact that the young woman in the TikTok video did have access.
One woman wrote in response to the TikTok that the young woman is, "Probably overjoyed at the prospect of the life that they’ll be able to now lead freed from the burden of an unwanted pregnancy."