Until today, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) had kept the story of her traumatic, pre-Roe pregnancy private. But during a congressional debate on abortion policy, she opened up about being forced to carry a dead baby to term—and warned lawmakers of the deadly consequences of a federal abortion ban.
Wilson said that she became pregnant, intentionally, shortly after getting married in 1968. At seven months, the fetus stopped moving, but her doctor was prohibited by law from inducing labor. Wilson said she was “forced to carry my dead baby” until she went into labor at eight and a half months.
“After three days, I left the maternity ward in a wheelchair, empty-handed, no baby,” she said. “We had a small graveside burial for baby boy Wilson, and the doctors were so afraid that I would also have had to have a graveside burial. Do not take us back to the days before Roe v. Wade.”
Wilson urged lawmakers to consider her story when considering abortion restrictions, now that the right to choose is no longer protected by law.
“Abortion does not only apply to women who have decided for themselves they’re not ready to have a child,” she said. “Abortion affects women who are at risk of facing medical emergencies, life-altering emergencies and death.”
Watch Wilson’s testimony here:
For years @RepWilson kept the story of her traumatic, pre-Roe pregnancy private. Today, she opened up about being forced to carry her “dead baby” to term and urged her colleagues not to bring the era of forced pregnancy back nationwide. pic.twitter.com/6EcMEL6KSt
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) January 11, 2023