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Rep. Cori Bush Opens Up About Having an Abortion After Rape as House Members Share Abortion Stories

HeadlineOct 01, 2021

Several Democratic House members shared their own experiences getting abortions during a hearing Thursday amid a mounting assault on reproductive rights across the U.S. California Congressmember Barbara Lee said she was just 16 when she had to travel to Mexico for a so-called back-alley abortion in the days before Roe v. Wade. Lee said she was “one of the lucky ones” for surviving the procedure. Meanwhile, Congressmember Cori Bush said she had an abortion after being raped at 17.

Rep. Cori Bush: “So, to all the Black women and girls who have had abortions and will have abortions: We have nothing to be ashamed of. We live in a society that has failed to legislate love and justice for us, so we deserve better, we demand better, we are worthy of better. So that’s why I’m here to tell my story. So, today, I sit before you as that nurse, as that pastor — as that pastor, as that activist, that survivor, that single mom, that congresswoman, to testify that in the summer of 1994, I was raped, I became pregnant, and I chose to have an abortion.”

A bill banning abortions at eight weeks in Cori Bush’s home state of Missouri was passed in 2019 but is on hold during legal challenges. Missouri Republicans say they plan on introducing an even more restrictive measure modeled on Texas’s near-total ban on abortions. Washington’s Pramila Jayapal also testified at Thursday’s hearing.

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