(CNSNews.com) - At a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum for Democratic presidential candidates in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, former Vice President Joe Biden complimented the courage of a woman who told him and the audience that she had been assaulted and had had three abortions.
The moderator of the event called on the woman to be one of Planned Parenthood’s “story tellers” as Biden was on the stage.
“I am a veteran. I’m a single mother. And I am a community organizer,” the women told Biden as recorded by C-SPAN.
“I’m also one of the one-in-four women in this country who have had an abortion,” she said.
“I’ve had three abortions from the only clinic that provides care, the women's health center. And every single one of those abortions was necessary for me to survive,” she said.
“I spent five years in an abusive marriage with a man who assaulted me. I was also sexually assaulted in the military,” she said.
“My bodily autonomy is precious to me,” she said.
The woman went on to explain that her birth control failed her.
“My birth control failed and then I became pregnant. I had two more pregnancies after my birth control failed me before I found a method that worked for my body,” she said.
“As I healed from the trauma of my marriage, being sexually assaulted in the military, as I raised my son by myself and went to college so I could build up the best life for us, without access to abortion I wouldn’t have graduated college,” she said. “I would still be on Medicaid and Food Stamps today. I wouldn’t have sought treatment for my PTSD, my anxiety and my depression. And I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”
“My abortions were covered by West Virginia Medicaid funding. I could not have afforded them on my own,” she said.
When she had finished telling her story, Biden complimented for the courage it took for her to tell it.
“A lot of you women, maybe a lot of men out here, don’t realize what incredible courage it took to stand up and say that,” Biden said.
“The fact of the matter is for you to stand and recall that brings it all back immediately. It brings it back and it is hard. So, I just got to compliment you for your courage, number one,” Biden said.
Later, as he spoke to her and the audience, Biden imagined how his mother would respond to the woman.
“But really, if my mom were here, she would look at you and say: God love you, dear, it took a lot of courage to do what you did,” Biden said. “No, I really mean it, you have to relive it every time you say it.
“And I know there’s women in here, I am not going to ask for a show of hands, women in here have been abused. Women here have been victims of abuse and you know how hard it is when you have to stand up and say it because it all comes back as if it happened that moment,” Biden said.