Pramila Jayapal is sharing her abortion story with the world for the first time ever, as reproductive rights face historic threats.
“When I was pregnant with my first child at twenty six and a half weeks I ended up having to have an emergency C-section,” she said. “I call them my miracle child. Janak had been remarkably lucky. I could not have gone through what I went through for Janak again.”
After Jayapal got pregnant again, she had a discussion with her partner and they decided that she would get an abortion. She said she’s grateful for the doctor who performed the procedure who had a tremendous amount of compassion, kindness, and skill, but that she never really talked about it after she was finished.
“Going through it myself and later reflecting on how little I talked about it and why that is—I think that it was partly because there is a lot of stigma about the choice to have an abortion,” she said. “There is a lot of stigma around the trauma that many women go through.”
Jayapal says that getting to be a member of Congress, and getting the platform she has now, made her feel that she should speak about the personal experience she’d gone through.
“It’s necessary that we start to speak out,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s our choice.”