Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush says she had an abortion when she was 19-years-old after her doctors were “absolutely ignoring me” when she decided she wasn’t ready.
In a Wednesday interview on PBS, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. described her experience as a 19-year-old, a Harris-Stowe State University student, who changed her mind about having her second abortion. She told her medical providers, “No, I’m not ready,” but they ignored her plea and continued with the procedure anyway.
“I was thinking back to the first abortion. ‘Okay. You’ve done this before. You know the rooms, you know what it looks like, you know what it feels like…you know you may experience even some harm, or some racism in this space,'” she said.
“I thought I was ready, and I went in, and I went through all the steps, because…it’s almost like an assembly line. You know, you go from room to room,” Bush described in the interview.
“And I got into the last room. I was helped up onto the table by the nurse. And I laid there and started to think, well, one, I didn’t tell the father that that was about to happen…and I just felt like I needed more time.” Bush said.
“So I said, ‘No, you know what, I’m not ready.’ And the nurse just, you know, wouldn’t listen to me.”
“And I said, ‘No, I’m not ready.’ And as I’m saying ‘No,’ they continued to pull the instruments and, you know, and get everything ready,” Bush recalled.
“They absolutely ignored me,” Bush said. “Even to the point of, you know, like, ‘Calm down.’ As if I was the problem.”
“And, so I remember laying there looking to see if there was someone else in the room that would listen to me,” she said. “During this time, they put the instrument inside me and started the instrument.”
“And I’m saying, ‘No,’ but it was too late, because you couldn’t stop once it started.”
When asked why she thought no one in the clinic listened to her, Bush responded, “The same as the other times I haven’t been listened to by a provider…or medical staff. I was a young, black woman.”
“Multiple times, I felt like it was ‘Oh well, we know better. You don’t know what you need. You don’t understand. We know better,'” she said.
The Missouri Congresswoman wrote about her experience in her new memoir, The Forerunner Cori Bush: A Story of Pain and Perseverance in America.