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Cori Bush opens up about getting an abortion after being raped as a teenager: 'I am not ashamed'

The Congresswoman said she had been raped by an older counselor at a church camp in Jackson when she was 17.

Cori Bush opens up about getting an abortion after being raped as a teenager: 'I am not ashamed'
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) speaks about the end of the eviction moratorium at the U.S. Capitol on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Congresswoman Cori Bush is opening up about being raped as a teenager and getting an abortion at 17. Bush will be sharing her story during her testimony before a House panel as the country grapples with restrictive abortion laws being passed across the country. “Tomorrow, I will share a story that I’ve never fully told publicly before,” tweeted Bush. “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 Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee during a House Oversight and Reform Committee that will listen to their personal abortion experiences. The discussion will be centered on “the urgent need to expand abortion rights and access.

PARK RAPIDS, MN - SEPTEMBER 04: Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) speaks while visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi River where the Line 3 Pipeline is being constructed on September 4, 2021, in Park Rapids, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The House panel will assess the impact of the abortion restrictions in states such as Texas, where a new law was passed that all but banned access to abortions.  The hearing will also examine possible federal protections for women seeking an abortion, reported The Hill. Bush said she wanted to share her story so people with decision-making powers in Congress realize how damaging not having access to abortions can be. Last year she had opened up about getting sexually assaulted but it was only earlier this month that she first spoke about getting an abortion. “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,” said Bush. “But I am not ashamed. I will proudly bring that pain to Congress to fight for those who never got a chance to.” 




Bush said she was raped at the age of 17 when she was attending a church camp in Jackson. An older counselor in his early 20s took advantage of her after she had told a mutual friend that she was romantically interested in him. The young man had asked to come over to Bush’s room, and after talking for a while, he proceeded to force himself on her. “I just remember I was laying there and I just didn’t know what was happening … I couldn’t make it make sense,” she told Vanity Fair. “All of a sudden we went from talking to, he was on top. He was like taking my clothes off ... He’s having sex, penetrating me”.



The Oversight Committee hearing comes shortly after Texas passed a law that enabled private citizens to sue individuals suspected of helping or aiding a woman trying to get an abortion with a bounty of $10,000 per successful suit. The Supreme Court refused to block the law in a 5-4 vote. Other GOP-controlled states are also looking to replicate similar laws to restrict abortion with Mississippi seeking to overturn Roe V Wade. 

SEPTEMBER 26: In this screengrab Congressional Candidate Cori Bush participates in Supercharge: Women All In, a virtual day of action hosted by Supermajority, on September 26, 2020, in the United States. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Supermajority)

The Justice Department has called the Texas Law unconstitutional and has sued the state over it. “The Act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights through a legislative scheme specifically designed to prevent the vindication of those rights.” The DOJ said the SB8 bill was in open defiance of the Constitution by banning abortion at approximately six weeks in nearly all cases. The law violates individuals’ rights to have an abortion procedure prior to viability, which is usually around 24 weeks. Additionally, the law contains no exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape, sexual abuse, incest, or for pregnancies involving a fetal defect incompatible with life after birth, read a statement by the DOJ.


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