Public health implications of #ShoutYourAbortion



Ahmed W (2018) Public health implications of #ShoutYourAbortion. Public Health, 163, pp. 35-41.

Objectives Social media platforms such as Twitter allow members of the public to raise awareness for issues, causes and events. This study investigated the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion that was created to combat the stigma that can be associated with the medical procedure of abortion. Study design A mixed method and case study approach was used. Methods Twitter data were retrieved and analysed by social network analysis, a subset of tweets were qualitatively coded and the location of tweets was examined. Results It was found that a sizable group of users shared tweets denouncing the hashtag and the these users formed a cluster in themselves. The study also identified two narratives: anti-abortion and pro-abortion content. Conclusion The results have implications for public health organisations and agencies interested in devising digital health campaigns. That is, when devising health campaigns, it is essential to consider the tone of the campaign and whether it is likely to provoke citizens who may have opposing views. Moreover, future campaigns could communicate information surrounding the dangers of unsafe abortions and the broad spectrum of reasons that women may seek abortion, for example, when the child and/or mothers health is at risk.

Abortion; Twitter; Social networks; Hashtags

Public Health: Volume 163

FundersNorthumbria University
Publication date31/10/2018
Publication date online27/07/2018
Date accepted by journal01/06/2018
PublisherElsevier BV

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Dr Wasim Ahmed
Dr Wasim Ahmed

Senior Lecturer in Digital Business, Management, Work and Organisation