(Image source from: Seattle PI)
Indian American Representative of the United States Pramila Jayapal has recently opened up about the time when she decided to have an abortion years ago.
By this, Jayapal has become the second member of Congress to speak publicly about choosing to get the procedure done, in an op-ed for the New York Times on Thursday.
Jayapal spoke up that she had not publicly discussed it before “because it is an intensely personal decision,” adding the notes that “But I have decided to speak about it now because I am deeply concerned about the intensified efforts to strip choice and constitutional rights away from pregnant people and the simplistic ways of trying to criminalize abortion.”
Her story came out in the wake when laws seeking to ban and criminalize abortions now sweeping across the South and Midwest. This surge has sparked many women like Pramila Jayapal to share their stories.
The Democratic congresswoman said she had to make a “heartbreaking decision”.
I have never spoken publicly about my abortion. I'm speaking now because of intensified efforts to strip Constitutional rights from pregnant people and to criminalize abortion.— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 13, 2019
I shared my story in an Op-Ed with @nytimes.https://t.co/AjBxRLtBet
“For me, terminating my pregnancy was not an easy choice, but it was my choice,” Jayapal said. “That is the single thing that has allowed me to live with the consequences of my decisions. And that is what must be preserved, for every pregnant person.”
There are so many stories that are far more traumatic than mine—low-income pregnant people and rape victims who face untenable choices.— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 13, 2019
There are also stories out there that are not traumatic at all—just the free exercise of a protected right.
But it must be their choice.
To this day, 22 years later, I think about those moments on the table in the doctor’s office.— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 13, 2019
Terminating my pregnancy was MY choice. And it is a choice that must be preserved for every single pregnant person. pic.twitter.com/kT8ZtolzvO
She shed light on the current abortion storm, revealing what it was like to have an abortion 22 years ago after doctors warned her that she might face a second high-risk pregnancy.
Talking further about how she had to make a difficult decision, Jayapal revealed, “I decided I could not responsibly have the baby. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was the only one I was capable of making.”
Jayapal also noted saying the abortion stories that exist reflect on traumatic stories of rape survivors. But other abortions, she added, are “just the free exercise of a protected constitutional right.”
Jayapal, a mother and stepmother, added, “I am fortunate to live in a state where pregnant people’s right to make choices about their own bodies is protected, where so many less fortunate than me can still afford to have abortions, without encountering barriers like forced counseling and waiting periods.”
By Sowmya Sangam