First lady Jill Biden told a story on Friday recounting a situation when she assisted her friend in the aftermath of an abortion in Pennsylvania when the procedure was illegal in the late 1960s and accused Republicans of wanting to go “back to that time.”
Biden, speaking at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Women’s Lunch and Issues Conference, told the story of how when she was 17 when one of her friends got pregnant in the late 1960s. The two lived in Pennsylvania, where abortion was illegal.
“To end the pregnancy, she told me that her only recourse was to undergo a psychiatric evaluation that would declare her mentally unfit before the doctor would perform the procedure,” Biden said. She did not identify the friend.
“I went to see her in the hospital and then cried the whole drive home,” Biden said, adding that her friend couldn’t go home after she got out of the hospital, so Biden asked her mother to let her friend stay with them. Her mom agreed, she said, and “she never told a soul, including, as far as I know, my dad.”
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She said she and her mom “never spoke about it again.”
“Secrecy. Shame. Silence. Danger. Even death. That’s what defined that time for so many women,” the first lady said, going on to say she was “shocked” by the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
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“It was devastating. How could we go back to that time?” she asked.
Biden said that women “will not let this country go backwards” and let “some radical Republican agenda be the legacy we leave to our daughters and granddaughters.”
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The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
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Associated Press contributed to this report