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Congressman’s Story: Raped at 17, ‘I Chose an Abortion’


The abortion rights debate has flared up again on Capitol Hill after the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law that bans most abortions earlier this month. As other states rush to introduce similar restrictions, and the court, now dominated by conservatives, prepares to hear a case that could overturn the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Democrats are making the issue a central point in their campaign strategy for the following year. midterm elections.

They are also trying to promote legislation that would codify the Roe decision; the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last week to do just that. But the bill has little chance of success in the divisive Senate, which Republicans are vehemently opposed.

Thursday’s hearing, which also featured a virtual appearance by women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, showed the depth of that partisan split. Representatives James R. Comer of Kentucky, Republican of Kentucky, urged Congress to continue to ban taxpayer-funded abortions, while Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said she felt “deep sadness” for women who had their pregnancies. ended.

“Instead of glorifying this terrible act of desperation, we should mourn the tens of millions of Americans who never had the chance to take their first breath, to see their mother’s face,” Ms Foxx said.

A recent NBC poll found that a majority of Americans — 54 percent — believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. That included a clear majority of women, suburbanites and people living in the Northeast. But the majority of evangelical Christians, rural Americans and Southerners said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

The hearing, titled “A Dire State: Examining the Urgent Need to Protect and Expand Abortion Rights and Access in the United States,” also revealed how the issue of abortion is intertwined with America’s racial divide. Ms. Bush described how belittled she felt, as a black teen, “being told that if I had this baby I would end up on food stamps and welfare.”

Massachusetts Democrat Ayana S. Pressley, who is black, spoke in her opening statement about how denying abortion care affects people of color, including “our lowest-income sisters; our queer, trans, and non-binary siblings. ”

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