Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is optimistic that Democrats can hold onto their congressional majorities in this November’s midterm elections.

“With the impact of policies like student debt cancellation, passing the Inflation Reduction Act [and] people being motivated to head to the polls in the wake of Roe being overturned … people understand what’s at stake here,” she said during an appearance on Boston Public Radio Friday. “And I think that will prove motivating.”

Historically, midterms have swung in favor of the minority-holding party. And while some analysts predict Democrats may maintain control of the Senate, their chance of retaining a majority in the House of Representatives is considered less likely.

“I’m an Aquarius,” Pressley joked, “I have an optimism-bias. And you know that to be true or I certainly would not have run for Congress in 2018 — or even City Council in 2009.”

The two-term representative also weighed in on the future of abortion care, student loan forgiveness, and a handful of other major issues. Here are some highlights from the conversation.

On the future of abortion care post-Dobbs:

Pressley, who chairs who chairs the House Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, touted the roles that President Joe Biden;s administration and federal leaders have played in protecting access to abortion after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and ended the constitutional right to abortion.

“They have heeded our calls, both in protecting and expanding access to medication abortion, in using the DOJ to guard against the criminalization of providers and patients, and in affirming that abortion care — in instances of emergency medical care — should be performed," she said.

The congresswoman went on to recount the moment she first heard that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe. She was at her teenage daughter’s eighth grade graduation.

Pressley described being “filled with such dread, that my daughter would be growing up in a country where she had less rights than I grew up with.”

“I told her — and she has seen me say this on many frontlines of protests and marches and of organized labor — that when we fight we win," she said. "And I’m not gonna be made a liar to my kid.”

To that end, Pressley called on her colleagues in the Senate to approve the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would enshrine federal abortion protections. The bill has been approved twice in the House.

On student loan debt forgiveness:

In August, President Biden announced $10,000 in student loan debt for Americans for a majority of middle- and low-income Americans. Pressley, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others, had been calling for relief in the neighborhood of $50,000.

Still, Pressley called the move “a victory.”

“The fight goes on, but this is a victory and make no mistake about it,” she said, reflecting on her role leading up to the announcement. “I was on the phone ‘til 7 a.m. with the White House with negotiations, talking to [White House Chief of Staff] Ron Klein, making the point that income is not wealth, and we should go as far as and be as inclusive as possible because I wanted us to go as far and as deep as the hurt is.”

Pressley also spoke of a desire to remove the stigma and shame some Americans feel with respect to their student loan debt. She said many young Americans feel compelled to attend college and incur debt for the sake of their own future.

“I never call it 'debt forgiveness,' because they never need to be forgiven for anything. They’ve only done what we’ve told them to do, and taken on what we advised them to do," she said, adding that it's time to address the root causes of student debt and federally invest in higher education as a public good.

On Suffolk County district attorney race:

Turning inward to statewide politics, Pressley was also asked about her withdrawn endorsement of Suffolk County District Attorney Candidate Ricarco Arroyo, and last Tuesday’s win for interim D.A. Kevin Hayden.

Hayden has been criticized by progressives for not taking an active enough role in investigating cases of police misconduct during his months taking over for now-U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.

“Ultimately I withdrew a public endorsement because I felt that the public trust had been eroded on both sides,” Pressley said. “Neither did I endorse Kevin Hayden, because I felt that there were real questions that were raised.”

Hayden has been criticized by progressives for not being proactive enough in investigating instances of police misconduct. An August Boston Globe alleged Hayden had dropped investigation into a coverup of one such case by Mass. Transit Police.

“When a constituent says to you I’m not sure I trust the Suffolk County D.A., what do you tell him or her?” host Jim Braude asked.

Pressley offered a more general response, saying, “I think writ large, unfortunately, there is a deficit of trust with government and institutions with the Supreme Court and all the way down. It’s incumbent on us to do everything to strengthen and restore that.”

She added, “I’m of the Stacey Abrams school of thought that we don’t elect saviors, we elect partners. And so with partnership comes accountability, and that is what I would encourage them to do and I know that’s certainly what I’ll be doing.”