Pramila Jayapal Says She ‘Contemplated Suicide’ After Her First Pregnancy


  • Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal discussed her personal experiences with abortion in an interview that aired Wednesday.
  • The Democratic lawmaker dealt with post-partum depression and “contemplated suicide” after her first child was born.
  • “I knew that I was not ready to go through that again,” she told NBC. 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, in a new interview on Wednesday, spoke candidly about her personal experiences with pregnancy and abortion. 

The Washington state Democrat told NBC News Now that she had an “incredibly difficult pregnancy” with her first child, Janak, who was born prematurely.

“We knew they were going to live, but they were still having seizures,” Jayapal said of Janak, adding that she also dealt with post-partum depression after the birth and “even contemplated suicide at one time.”

Jayapal said she knew she couldn’t have another child, but despite being on contraceptives, she unexpectedly got pregnant a second time. 

“I just realized that there was no way I could have another baby at that time and that I could not go through what I had gone through,” Jayapal told NBC. 

“I knew that I was not ready to go through that again and that I needed to be strong for Janak,” she continued. “And so, I spoke to the person who became my husband, my loving partner, at the time. He was completely supportive, and I decided to have an abortion.”

Jayapal is set to speak on Thursday during a House Oversight Committee hearing on abortion rights. The hearing will center the conversation around anti-abortion laws rising in the United States and examine potential actions to “protect and expand abortion rights and access.”

“I wanted the one in four women that do have an abortion across America to know that we understand these are difficult decisions,” Jayapal told NBC. “They are very nuanced, and every single one of them involves particular details that only we know.”

Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, who previously spoke about getting an abortion, will also testify before the congressional committee.

Texas is the most recent state to enact a restrictive abortion law, which went into effect on September 1. The statute bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, a point at which many people do not yet know they are pregnant. 

The law, however, has not stopped people from seeking and obtaining abortions. Providers outside the state told Insider more Texans are flocking to their clinics instead. 

In its next session, which begins Dec .1, the Supreme Court will review a major abortion case that could threaten Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide. 



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