New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has long been outspoken about defending abortion rights, publicly disclosed Tuesday that she had an abortion herself almost two decades ago.
Pregnant as a newly elected New York City Council member, “I chose to have an abortion,” James told protesters who gathered in Manhattan to decry a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the constitutional right to an abortion nationwide.
James, a Democrat, said she makes "no apologies" for her decision.
"I was just elected and I was faced with the decision of whether to have an abortion or not, and I chose to have an abortion," she said. "I walked proudly into Planned Parenthood, and I make no apologies to anyone."
James, 63, won a City Council race in 2003 to begin her political career, going on to serve as the city's elected ombudsman, called the public advocate, and then as attorney general since 2018. Last year, she briefly entered the 2022 race for governor before dropping out; she's now seeking reelection in November.
James has proposed a New York fund to help provide abortions to women who can't access the procedures in their own states, and she has filed or joined other attorneys general in filing friend-of-the-court briefs arguing against some abortion restrictions in other states.
“We will not go backward,” she told the protesters Tuesday. “No judge of the Supreme Court can dictate to me or to you how to use your body.”