North Carolina’s Party-Switching Abortion Traitor Now Says She Didn’t Have an Abortion

State Rep. Tricia Cotham (R) is trying to rewrite history after leaving the Democratic Party to give the GOP a veto-proof majority on a 12-week abortion ban.

North Carolina’s Party-Switching Abortion Traitor Now Says She Didn’t Have an Abortion
Rep. Tricia Cotham (R), onTuesday, May 16, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C., before the North Carolina House members debated whether to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of an abortion bill. Photo:Associated Press (AP)

North Carolina State Rep. Tricia Cotham (R)—the former pro-choice advocate who recently switched parties and gave the GOP a veto-proof majority to jam through a 12-week abortion ban, betraying her constituents—is continuing her gaslighting tour. She’s now claiming that she never had an abortion, despite having delivered passionate abortion-rights speeches and talking about her own personal experience during her campaign. It was simply a miscarriage, “not an elective abortion,” the now-Republican lawmaker says.

Cotham said in an interview with WBT radio during the state’s Republican Party convention that the “hardest” thing about voting for the abortion ban is people pointing out that she had an abortion herself.

“I think the hardest thing and the most unfortunate—deeply personal—and this is deeply wrong…I had a miscarriage, and a miscarriage in medical terms is called a spontaneous abortion,” she said. “And so instead of saying—first of all, they should not even be talking about my miscarriage, that is just very painful and wrong—but they’re repeating this message that I had an abortion, and that is false. And that has been completely frustrating and they keep on doing it and that’s below the belt.” (At the start of the interview, she hypes up her work on charter schools said she spoke with both former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and she seemed thrilled about it.)

The comments begin at the 7-minute mark:

Back in 2015, when Cotham spoke on the House floor about her medically necessary abortion for an ectopic pregnancy, she used very different language. Cotham said it was an “induced, physician-assisted miscarriage”—which is an abortion. (She also mentions “chemotherapy,” which suggests she was given the cancer drug methotrexate, to end the pregnancy.)

Cotham appears to want to use medical jargon (“spontaneous abortion”) to suggest that people may be confused about how her pregnancy ended, but an induced miscarriage is definitely not spontaneous. And she’s erasing the crucial context in which she gave the speech—sharing her story to oppose a 72-hour waiting period for abortions. She said at the time “Abortion is a deeply personal decision. It should not be a political debate. My womb and my uterus is not up for your political grab.”

Here’s a clip from that speech:

Cotham was even featured in a June 2015 Time story on lawmakers talking about their abortions. “[Cotham] said she went home and wrote out her speech describing the induced physician-assisted abortion of her non-viable fetus. ‘I knew that I was not going to change the minds of those who were going to vote yes. And it wasn’t about them,’ she said. Instead, she said, she spoke so ‘somebody out there could feel maybe not feel shamed.’” She doesn’t insist in that story that it was a miscarriage, not an abortion.

During her 2022 campaign, Cotham even submitted a Planned Parenthood questionnaire in which she wrote that “abortion is a medical procedure. It should be safe, legal, and accessible to all women. I will oppose any legislation that seeks to restrict abortion access.” In January of this year, she co-sponsored a bill to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into state law.

But flash forward to her changing parties this year, and she’s singing a different tune. After her vote to override the Democratic governor’s veto of the abortion ban, Cotham said in a statement that her miscarriage was different, because it wasn’t “an elective abortion.” Cotham said, “Some call me a hypocrite since I voted for this bill. They presume to know my story. As I said at the time, I had an ectopic pregnancy that sadly ended in miscarriage, not an elective abortion. In fact, Senate Bill 20 affirms the life-saving care I received in that dire situation.”

Ma’am, a little over one year ago you said you supported every person’s right to abortion. We’re not falling for this.

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