Congresswoman Cori Bush, D-MO, spoke before House Oversight Committee Democrats on Thursday about the hardships faced by some Black women and their babies during pregnancy. In a tweet with a clip of her testimony, she referred to the women as “birthing people” and that sparked many to question her choice of language.
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain,” Bush wrote in sharing her personal testimony. “My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic.”
It didn’t take long for many Twitter users to go after her choice of words.
During her speech, Bush told the story of the complications she faced when she was pregnant with her oldest son Zion. At the time, she was having severe pains that she said her doctor dismissed. A week after she reported the pain, she delivered her son prematurely. He weighed 1 pound 3 ounces.
“He could fit within the palm of my hand. We were told he had a zero percent chance of life,” she said.
Luckily, a top surgeon in the hospital resuscitated Bush’s son and for the next month, he was on a ventilator. In total, he was in intensive care for four months.
Two months later, Bush was pregnant with her daughter. But 16 weeks into the pregnancy, she was told she was again preterm and was told that the baby would naturally “abort.”
She pushed back on the doctor’s advice to let the baby abort and demanded that she be able to carry the pregnancy. That saved her daughter, who is now 21 years old.
“Every day, Black women are subjected to harsh and racist treatment during pregnancy and childbirth,” Bush concluded. “Every day, Black women die because the system denies our humanity. It denies us patient care. I sit before you today as a single mom, as a nurse, as an activist, and as a congresswoman and I am committed to doing the absolute most to protect Black mothers, to protect Black babies, to protect Black birthing people, and to save lives.”
You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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