Ocasio-Cortez Gets Very Personal On House Floor

Dimitri Rodriguez, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) launched into an “uncomfortable” conversation about the contraception she uses during a House Oversight Committee hearing, saying, “Republicans are forcing this conversation.”

Prefacing a question about ectopic pregnancies, Ocasio-Cortez explained that the condition can arise from the failure of the intrauterine device, or IUD, announcing she uses one.

Placing the blame on Republicans for “forcing” her to reveal intimate details about herself, the New York Democrat said, “I, for example, since Republicans are forcing this conversation in uncomfortable ways, then I will meet them to it… I have an IUD. I’ve had one for years.”

She then queried witness Dr. Bhavik Kumar about what would happen to her — and women like her — if she had an ectopic pregnancy and needed an abortion in a state where abortion is only permitted when a woman’s life is in danger.

The Congresswoman asked if she was hospitalized for ectopic pregnancy, in a state where abortion is banned, if a physician would have to “wait until I was in the process — potentially — of actively dying before you could effectively treat me and my or anyone in our position’s life?”

In response, Dr. Kumar — the medical director for primary and trans care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast — explained, “To date, and to my knowledge, there are no laws that outlaw care for ectopic pregnancies.”

He elaborated that there was confusion about when to treat the condition “because these laws are written by politicians and sometimes don’t make sense,” noting that some have been “denied access to that care.” He pointed to a woman in “Texas who left the state to get care for her ectopic pregnancy.”

However, he emphasized that care for such conditions “depends on which health care provider you see, which clinic or hospital you may go to because we’re interpreting these laws in real-time by physicians.”