*In emotional testimony at a congressional hearing on reproductive rights Thursday, Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif., got candid with their personal stories about their own abortions.
Bush had hers after being raped and becoming pregnant as a teenager.
“In the summer of 1994, I was raped. I became pregnant and I chose to have an abortion,” she said before the House Oversight Committee.
Bush recounted her church trip to Jackson, Miss., when an older boy she had met asked if he could come to the room she was staying in with a friend. She invited him in, expecting they would continue talking and laughing as they had done earlier in the day.
“But the next thing I knew, he was on top of me,” Bush recalled. “I was frozen in shock as his weight pressed down upon me. When he was done, he got up, he pulled up his pants and without a word he left. That was it.”
She never heard from him again.
Dabbing at tears, Bush said she eventually missed her period and discovered she was pregnant. Knowing she couldn’t raise a child on her own at that time, she decided to have an abortion.
“Choosing to have an abortion was the hardest decision I had ever made,” Bush said. “But at 18 years old, I knew it was the right decision for me.”
At the abortion clinic, she said, she overheard the staff saying, “‘They ruined their life and that’s what they do’ — ‘they’ being Black girls like us.”
“To all the Black women and girls who have had abortions and will have abortions, we have nothing to be ashamed of,” Bush said. “We live in a society that has failed to legislate love and justice for us.”
Watch below, followed by the testimony of Reps. Barbara Lee and Pramila Jayapal: