'Not ashamed': Democratic congresswomen testify about their personal abortion stories

'Not ashamed': Democratic congresswomen testify about their personal abortion stories

Reproductive rights advocates on Thursday expressed gratitude to three Democratic congresswomen ahead of their testimonies at a House Oversight Committee hearing on protecting abortion access, as Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) planned to share their own personal stories of obtaining abortion care.

"Thank you for your vulnerability to advance justice," said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) on social media to her colleagues ahead of the hearing.

The three lawmakers are testifying at the committee's hearing on "Examining the Urgent Need to Protect and Expand Abortion Rights and Access" beginning at 10:00am.

Watch the hearing below:

Examining the Urgent Need to Protect and Expand Abortion Rights and Access in the United States. www.youtube.com

"Today, I am testifying before you because I want you to know there are so many different situations that people face in making these choices," said Jayapal. "It is simply no one's business what choices we as pregnant people make about our bodies."

On Wednesday evening, Bush, Jayapal, and Lee also shared their personal stories in an interview with MSNBC correspondent Ali Vitali.

"When I found out that I was pregnant it was very difficult because I still didn't understand what was happening," said Bush, who became pregnant as the result of being raped at the age of 17. "I just knew I wasn't ready for a child."

"I am not ashamed," Bush said on Twitter Wednesday.

Jayapal shared that she had an abortion after getting pregnant following her first "incredibly difficult pregnancy," after which she suffered severe postpartum depression.

"I just realized that there was no way I could have another baby at that time and that I could not go through what I had gone through," said the congresswoman.

The hearing comes days after the House passed the Women's Health Protection Act, which would ensure access to legal abortion care in every state, and is being held amid increasingly extreme attacks on reproductive rights in Republican-led states, including the passage of Texas' six-week abortion ban, S.B. 8. In December, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a Mississippi case which directly challenges Roe vs. Wade.

"The Senate and the White House must act swiftly to pass [the Women's Health Protection Act] and sign it into law," said Pressley at the hearing. "It has been 30 days since the Texas law went into effect. Each day that goes by without congressional action more and more people are denied their constitutional right to critical abortion care."


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