Ahead of House hearing, Reps. Barbara Lee, Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal tell their abortion stories

, Ahead of House hearing, Reps. Barbara Lee, Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal tell their abortion stories, The Evepost National News
, Ahead of House hearing, Reps. Barbara Lee, Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal tell their abortion stories, The Evepost National News

WASHINGTON — Three congresswomen who will testify about their personal experiences with abortion during a Thursday House hearing on reproductive rights shared their stories in a deeply personal interview Wednesday night.

On MSNBC’s “The ReidOut with Joy Reid,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., shared intimate accounts of their decisions to end their pregnancies.

Lee said she traveled to a “back-alley clinic” in Mexico with a family friend, an experience she said “terrified” her.

“I was one of those that survived and I think it’s my duty now, as hard as this is, to talk about it. Because I know it’s going to happen again if we don’t stop what’s taking place,” she told NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali.

Lee is referring to measures like Texas Senate Bill 8, which banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy regardless of rape or incest. The bill became law after the Supreme Court declined to block its enforcement earlier this month.

The Texas law has ignited a national conversation about reproductive rights, potentially further deepening the U.S. political divide.

The Sept. 30 House hearingwill examine these and other threats to abortion rights.

“I think that testifying makes it official,” Jayapal said of the hearing. “It puts it in the record.”

, Ahead of House hearing, Reps. Barbara Lee, Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal tell their abortion stories, The Evepost National News

The Washington congresswoman shared that post-partum depression after a prior pregnancy influenced her decision to terminate.

“I even contemplated suicide at one time,” she said. “And I knew that I was not ready to go through that again.”

Bush tweeted Wednesday that she will “share a story that I’ve never fully told publicly before.”

“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,” she wrote.

She also said she was once against the procedure, but now thinks even ardent anti-abortion opponents can be swayed.

“It wasn’t until later on — years later — that I started to realize … it should not be a partisan thing. It should be about humanity. Humanity and then what is best. Because what may be good for me may not be good for the other person, but the freedom to make that decision has to be there.”

Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.