The most successful hashtags go beyond their original provenance – but that can mean losing control of the message. So it was with trending topic #PraytoEndAbortion, which began on the right on Thursday as a way to share anti-choice messages on Twitter. As of Friday morning, the hashtag had been tweeted more than 127,000 times and was a trending topic both in the U.S. and worldwide.
The hashtag was part of an organized “Twitter Storm” campaign led by anti-choice activists that began on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. A few days before that, tweets appeared from anti-choice activists spreading the message about the social media push. It was unclear whether any established organizations were behind the initiative.
However, as the hashtag spread Thursday, anti-choice activists soon lost control and found that their campaign had backfired – the hashtag was flooded with pro-choice rebuttals and satire.
Of course, the right is doing a lot more than praying to end abortion. At midyear, according to the Guttmacher Institute, legislators had enacted 43 provisions restricting access to abortion, and that’s before new laws like this week’s “rape insurance” law in Michigan had been counted. But the rhetorical battle matters, too. Below, some highlights from the pro-choice ripostes.