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Rep. Frederica Wilson’s speech schools Republicans on abortion

In an impassioned speech, the Florida Democrat detailed her experience being forced to carry a stillbirth, and denounced a nonsensical anti-abortion bill.


The process has become routine at this point. 

Republicans push forward with an archaic anti-abortion measure that could hurt millions of pregnant people. Then, people selflessly share their personal experiences with pregnancy and abortion to stress the importance of having access to the procedure — only for Republicans to move ahead with their plans anyway. 

Remember back in 2021, when Democratic lawmakers testified about their abortion experiences, only for the Supreme Court to overturn federal abortion rights the following year?

On Wednesday, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., tried again to convince Republicans to renege on their latest anti-abortion gambit, the so-called Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Not only does the bill have virtually zero chance of becoming law given the Democratic-led Senate, it’s completely nonsensical. Republicans allege the bill is needed to require doctors to provide care to infants born after an “attempted abortion” and penalize the “intentional killing of a born-alive child.” These phrases stem from right-wing misinformation meant to demonize abortion. 

As The New York Times explained in this 2019 fact-check, “infants are rarely born alive after abortion procedures, and if they are, doctors do not kill them.” That act would be called homicide, and spoiler alert: Federal law already prohibits it.

In her remarks Wednesday, Wilson recounted her harrowing experience being forced to carry a stillbirth prior to the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a time when Florida prohibited her from inducing pregnancy to remove the stillborn fetus.

“I had to learn how, first of all, to handle the immense grief that comes with losing a child. And the fact that the corpse of that child was still within me,” she said. “I cried every night and all day.”

Wilson spoke about needing her mother and husband to console her when the pain of her experience seemed unbearable. 

“I beg you, I plead you: We can’t go back. Lord have mercy — please have mercy — on women like me,” she said.

Republicans didn’t have mercy. They voted in favor of the anti-abortion measure shortly after Wilson’s remarks. The bill stands virtually no chance of passing in the Democratic-led Senate.

The 2022 midterms showed that the GOP is likely paying a major political price for backing abortion restrictions. But abortion seekers whose rights are trampled upon will pay the heaviest costs of the crusade at the federal and state levels, as Wilson demonstrated with her testimony.

“You cannot put young childbearing women at risk because of the group of ludicrous, hateful, majority-male congressmen who have no idea what it feels to even bear the pain of childbirth, or even have the courage to carry a child for nine months, who take take pride in monitoring women’s vaginas,” she said. “How dare you, how dare you, how dare you!”

Watch the full five-minute speech below.