Rep. Cori Bush testified at a hearing on reproductive rights yesterday, where she shared her abortion experience before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, alongside Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Pramila Jayapal.
“To all the Black women and girls who have had abortions and will have abortions, we have nothing to be ashamed of,” says Bush.
“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. That’s why I’m here to tell my story. So today I sit before you as that nurse, 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.”
Her testimony follows the controversial Texas Senate Bill 8, which went into effect in September. The bill effectively bands abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy and no exceptions are made for victims of rape.
“Now I know that was a sexual assault,” said Bush. “It’s even hard for me to say a little bit, because I’m still really trying to process all of it. Soon, Bush learned that she was pregnant, and ultimately chose to have an abortion at nine weeks.
Rep. Jayapal also shared her emotional story at the hearing.
“I did not suffer from living in a state that does not allow pregnant people to make these choices, and unlike one of my colleagues who was testifying today, I had the privilege of experiencing the world in a post-Roe v. Wade time where abortion was established as a constitutional right,” Jayapal said.
“Because of the cruel Texas abortion ban and the other state abortion bans currently being litigated by those unaffected by the outcome, many people may not have the same choice as I did. That is unacceptable.”