Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., wipes away a tear as she prepares to testify about her experience being raped and a subsequent abortion, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
CNN  — 

Rep. Cori Bush on Thursday shared her personal experience of how she was raped as a teenager, became pregnant and chose to get an abortion.

It was one of the first times that Bush, a Missouri Democrat, has spoken publicly about it and her decision to have an abortion.

Bush’s comments came during a House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday called by the Democratic chair Carolyn Maloney to “examine the threat to abortion rights and access” posed by the US Supreme Court and “extreme anti-choice state governments,” in the wake of the Texas 6-week abortion bill.

During the House hearing, Bush recounted how shortly after graduating high school, she attended a church trip to Jackson, Mississippi, in the summer of 1994. She was 17 at the time.

While on the trip, she met a 20-year-old man, a “friend of a friend.” The two flirted and he asked to visit her room. She invited him in, believing that they would talk and laugh.

“But the next thing I knew, he was on top of me, messing with my clothes, and not saying anything at all. ‘What is happening?’ I thought. I didn’t know what to do. I was frozen in shock, just laying there as his weight pressed down upon me. When he was done, he got up, he pulled up his pants, and without a word – he left. That was it. I was confused, I was embarrassed, I was ashamed. I asked myself, was it something that I had done?” Bush recalled.

A few months after the trip and then a year older, Bush tried to contact the man after noticing she missed her period, but she never heard from him.

“I was 18. I was broke, and I felt so alone. I blamed myself for what had happened to me,” Bush said.

Bush later found out she was nine weeks pregnant and that’s when “panic set in,” she said.

“How could I make this pregnancy work? How could I, at 18 years old and barely scraping by, support a child on my own? And I would have been on my own,” she said, also explaining how she feared being kicked out by her parents or disappointing them.

Bush, who is Black, also recalled how she experienced discrimination as she sought health care during her pregnancy.

In a counseling session before she had the abortion procedure, Bush said she was told her baby would be “‘jacked up’” because the fetus was already malnourished and underweight, and that she would end up on food stamps and welfare if she had the baby.

“I was being talked to like trash and it worsened my shame,” she said.

Bush said “choosing to