Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told a crowd of pro-abortion protesters on Friday that she had been raped a decade earlier — and had been grateful to know that if she had become pregnant as a result of that rape, she would have had the choice to abort.
Ocasio-Cortez joined protesters at Union Square just hours after the Supreme Court announced its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned landmark abortion rulings in both Roe v. Wade and Planed Parenthood v. Casey. When some of the women in the crowd began to tell their own “abortion stories,” Ocasio-Cortez jumped in with a story of her own — about a time when she said she had worried she might have to make that choice.
AOC just arrived at the Union Square event where women are sharing their abortion stories. She just told the crowd how when she was raped in her early 20s, she was grateful to know that, had she become pregnant, abortion care was readily available. pic.twitter.com/wBUIDB5gcC
— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) June 25, 2022
“I myself, when I was about 22 or 23 years old, was raped when I was living here in New York City. I was completely alone. In fact, I felt so alone that I had to take a pregnancy test in a public bathroom in midtown Manhattan,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
“When I sat there waiting for what the result would be, all I could think was: Thank God I have, at least, a choice. Thank God I could, at least, have the freedom to choose my destiny,” she added. “I didn’t know then, as I was waiting, that it would come up negative. But it doesn’t matter … This is for all of us. This is not a women’s rights issue. This is an issue for all of us.”
Ocasio-Cortez has spoken before about being a survivor of sexual assault, saying shortly after the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill that she had been fearful that someone might attack and rape her while protesters were breaching the Capitol building. She later revealed in an Instagram video that she had been previously assaulted.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault. And I haven’t told many people that in my life,” she explained, adding that the stress of watching the rioters and believing that she could be a target had forced her to relive the trauma of that assault. “When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
Ocasio-Cortez did not give many details regarding the assault at the time, but it appears likely that she may have been talking about the same attack when she spoke to protesters on Friday.