AOC shares story of sexual assault at NYC pro-abortion rally, urges Biden to open federal abortion clinics

‘I myself, when I was about 22 or 23 years old, was raped when I was living here in New York City,’ shared the congresswoman

<p>Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a pro-abortion rally in New York City.</p>

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a pro-abortion rally in New York City.

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In the wake of the US Supreme Court reversing abortion rights protection, hundreds of people gathered in Union Square in New York City to listen and/or share their own stories of abortion and access to it -- including Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Friday night, mere hours after the conservative supermajority on the country’s highest court struck down the landmark legislation that allowed pregnant people autonomy over their own bodies, people gathered all over New York to protest the ruling in various locations including Union Square and Washington Square Park.

During the gathering in Union Square, the masses created a circle around a microphone set up by a pro-abortion organization and listened as person after person went up to share their story about abortion.

The crowd at a pro-abortion event in Union Square in New York City on Friday.

Some of those who spoke had an abortion themselves while others shared a loved one’s experience with abortion or their general feelings on Roe v Wade being overturned.

One person read the story of a woman named Margarita, who was raped and got pregnant when she was 19 in 1966. In the midst of Margarita’s story being told, the crowd began to roar as Rep Ocasio-Cortez made her way toward the microphone.

Despite the cheers, Rep Ocasio-Cortez asked that the person reading Margarita’s story to finish before taking the microphone herself.

To widespread cheers, the congresswoman explained how she just got off a flight from Washington DC and told the crowd “we must start right now to be relentless to restore and guarantee all of our rights here in the United States.”

“I want to take a moment and honor this spirit of this space and telling stories. Until about four years ago, I was a waitress right here at this corner -- what is now a Chase Bank,” recalled the 32-year-old. She detailed how, a few doors down from what used to be the coffee shop she worked at, there was a free family health center.

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a pro-abortion event in Union Square in New York City.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez explained how she supported friends through their abortions and sexual assault before sharing her own sexual assault story.

“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,” she said.

“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. 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.”

Rep Ocasio-Cortez then went on to implore the crowd to “become more expansive in our imagination of the tools that are available to us in order to make this right” and even called on President Joe Biden to “open abortion clinics on federal lands right now.”

“We have a responsibility to protect people as much as we can for as long as we can, while we do the continued outside and inside work that is necessary to get it done. That is what our job is,” she continued.

Shortly after Rep Ocasio-Cortez’s speech, Gov. Kathy Hochul appeared at the event and also shared a few words with the crowd.

“We stand in solidarity with our sisters across our nation who have now had their rights denied. Here in the state of New York, as the first woman governor, this is deeply personal to all of us. We will stand up and we will fight back. We just allocated $35m dollars to make sure that our abortion providers cannot just take care of our citizens, but we can be a safe harbor for women all across this country. You come to New York and we will take care of you,” said Hochul.

Gov Kathy Hochul at a pro-abortion event in Union Square in New York City.

The governor went on to slam the Supreme Court as “the most reactionary.”

“My god, the Supreme Court doesn’t give a damn about us anymore. This is the most reactionary Supreme Court that we’ve seen in our lifetime. This will go down in history as a dark day,” she said, before going on to say that she’s planning on calling back the New York State legislature to pass legislation to protect all of our rights in the next week.

Ahead of both Rep Ocasio-Cortez and Gov Hochul’s appearances, many of the abortion stories shared were emblematic of the varying experiences people who can become pregnant may endure in their lifetime.

“I’m a disabled woman and I never thought today I’d wake up and I would lose my right to have an abortion if I become pregnant. With my disability, I could possibly die,” said one person to the crowd.

One man took the stage to share how his great-grandmother had died from an illegal abortion.

“It was 1943. She had three children already, just like the majority of people who get an abortion today -- including my grandmother, who was 7-years-old at the time,” he explained, before adding that his great-grandmother started “bleeding out and was too afraid of the law” to go to the hospital so she died.

One person named Athena shared their story about having an abortion at 17.

“I knew right away that abortion was the right choice for me,” they told the crowd, to applause. “However, at the time of my pregnancy, I could not get an abortion in that state without parental consent.”

A person speaking at a pro-abortion event in Union Square in New York City.

They went on to share how they had to take a bus across state lines to get access to the abortion pill. Unfortunately, due to how long it took for they and their partner to save up to make the trip, it was “too late for me to take the pill.” They were then forced to repeat the trip to go get a surgical abortion.

“The time between my delayed abortion pill appointment and the eventual in-clinic abortion is still fuzzy. I began experiencing extreme morning sickness and it became impossible for me to live in my dorm or go to class. I felt isolated, sick, alone... I eventually fell so far behind in school that I failed out of my first semester,” they recalled.

In another story that moved many in the crowd to tears, OB/GYN Kameelah Philips shared how she cried on Friday morning when she delivered a baby named Georgia.

“I cried because I realized that she had fewer rights than everyone in that room that was there to bring her into this world and it broke my heart. I am your abortion provider,” said Dr Philips, before adding: “Until you have held the hand of someone who is making the impossible decision with what she is going to do with her body, you stay the f*** out of her business. People who are reproductive have abortions for reasons you can never imagine.”

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