But there's tape.
Steve Harrison reported the 2015 Cotham speech on the NC House floor, for WFAE:
When she gave that speech, she was a member of the Democratic Party and had been in the state House since 2007. She made it clear that she and her doctor decided to terminate her pregnancy because her life and the life of her child were in danger.
“My first pregnancy ended in an induced physician-assisted miscarriage, while I served in this chamber,” she said.
Cotham emphasized again that it was not a natural miscarriage.
“It’s not the type of miscarriage that we often think of where you lose the baby completely and it’s over,” Cotham said. “That’s not what happened. My doctor told me that my pregnancy would likely not be viable and that if I did not take swift medical action my life and any hope of future babies would be in severe danger. I trusted my doctor and her medical expertise.”
She then went into detail about how painful the procedure was. She finished her speech by saying that lawmakers should have no place in such decisions.
“This decision was up to me,” she said. “My husband. My doctor. And my God. It was not up to any of you in this chamber.”
Her passionate speech drew national attention. Time magazine featured it in a story about women lawmakers discussing their own abortions. It quoted Cotham as saying she wrote the speech so “somebody out there could maybe not feel shamed.”
Tricia Cotham, NowIn an interview last weekend at the North Carolina Republican Party convention in Greensboro with WBT radio’s Brett Jensen, Cotham said it was false that she had an abortion. In a 30-second comment on the issue, she characterized what happened to her as a natural miscarriage.
“I think the hardest thing and the most unfortunate — deeply personal — and this is deeply wrong,” Cotham said. “I had a miscarriage, and a miscarriage in medical terms is called a spontaneous abortion. And instead of saying — first of all — they should not be talking about my miscarriage, that is just very painful and wrong — but they are repeating this message that I had an abortion. And that is false. And that is completely frustrating and they keep on doing it and that’s below the belt.”
Boy howdy! Her new teammates demand she deny the truth. Or ... it's a live possibility ... she was lying in 2015 to impress both her Democratic friends and her Republican antagonists. Either way, it ain't a good look for her.