ATLANTA – U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, shared her painful story of multiple miscarriages before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion rights Wednesday.
Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the hearing in response to the leak of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion about two weeks ago. That draft opinion indicates the court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave American women the right to an abortion.
McBath raised the specter of the criminalization of miscarriage if abortion is outlawed, saying that she would not have had access to adequate medical care during her three miscarriages if abortion had been illegal.
“After which failed pregnancy should I have been imprisoned? Would it have been after the first miscarriage, after doctors used what would be an illegal drug to abort the lost fetus?,” McBath asked.
“I ask because the same medicine used to treat my failed pregnancies is the same medicine states like Texas would make illegal. I ask because if Alabama makes abortion murder, does it make miscarriage manslaughter?”
McBath is one of a growing number of women who have decided to publicly share their stories of abortion and miscarriage in response to the specter of losing the right to abortion. State Rep. Shea Roberts, D-Atlanta, shared her story of ending an unviable pregnancy during a press conference in Atlanta earlier this month.
“Women’s rights are human rights. Reproductive health care is health care. Medical decisions should be made by women and those that they trust, not politicians and officials,” McBath proclaimed at the end of her testimony.
“Freedom is our right to choose.”
McBath currently represents Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in Washington. However, Georgia’s recent redistricting process redrew the district lines to make it much more Republican-leaning.
Rather than take her chances running against a Republican in the 6th District in the November general election, McBath decided to run against current U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux, D-Suwanee, for the 7th District seat in next week’s Democratic primary.
The battle between the two is one of the most hotly contested Democratic races in the May 24 primary.
NARAL, a national pro-choice advocacy group, endorsed both McBath and Bordeaux last year.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.