House

Cori Bush to give her personal story on rape, abortion: ‘I am not ashamed’

Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) address reporters on the House Steps as they and housing advocates demand an extension of the now expired eviction moratorium on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on Wednesday said she would share her own story in congressional testimony Thursday about how she was raped at the age of 17 and had an abortion. 

Bush shared that she would be offering the personal testimony in a statement on Twitter the day before her testimony to a House panel.

It comes amid a fervent nationwide debate on abortion that has intensified with a Texas law that essentially outlaws the procedure six weeks into a pregnancy.

“Tomorrow, I will share a story that I’ve never fully told publicly before,” Bush tweeted. “I am testifying at the Oversight Committee hearing on abortion care and I will share that when I was 17, I was raped, became pregnant, and got an abortion. And I am not ashamed.”

Bush will testify along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on their personal abortion experiences. The Thursday hearing will focus on states with abortion restrictions and how those measures are affecting access to abortions. The hearing will also examine possible federal protections for women seeking the medical procedure.

Bush has previously said that she had been sexually assaulted. 

“I am a victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault. I waited as my rape kit sat on the shelf for months. I say victim because some days I don’t feel like a survivor,” Bush said in a tweet on Sept. 12, 2020. “But I am not ashamed. I will proudly bring that pain to Congress to fight for those who never got a chance to.”

Earlier this month, during a rally protesting for reproductive rights in Missouri, Bush shared for the first time that she had gotten an abortion.

The congressional hearing comes after the Supreme Court declined to block the new Texas law, which allows private citizens to sue individuals suspected of helping or aiding a woman trying to get an abortion and can award $10,000 per each successful suit. 

Similar legislation to the Texas law has already been filed in Florida. Supporters of the medical procedure are concerned that the legislation will encourage “copycat” legislation in other GOP-controlled states. 

The Justice Department filed an emergency motion to request either a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to halt the Texas law from going into effect. A federal judge is scheduled to hear the DOJ’s request on Friday, about a month after the law took effect. 

–Updated at 5:19 p.m.

Tags Abortion Barbara Lee Cori Bush domestic abuse Pramila Jayapal Rape Sexual assault

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