Abortion Story #222: US Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. Below is an excerpt from Rep. Jackie Speier’s (D-CA) remarks on the floor of the US House of Representatives in 2011. Speier was moved to briefly share her abortion story during a congressional debate. Lawmakers were addressing a proposal made by then-Rep. Mike Pence to block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Below, Speier responds to a Congressional colleague who had just given a vitriolic speech about women who seek abortion and abortion care obtained later in pregnancy. Read Rep. Speier’s full remarks in section 2330 of the Congressional Record.

“Mr. Chairman, I had really planned to speak about something else, but the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots, because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now.

I had a procedure at 17 weeks, pregnant with a child that had moved from the [uterus] into the cervix, and that [later abortion] procedure that you just talked about was [one] that I endured. I lost the baby. But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest as you have that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous…

…There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood and it was played out in this room tonight. Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions. The last time I checked, abortions were legal in this country…”

Rep. Jackie Speier represents California’s 14th congressional district in the US House of Representatives. She also served for 18 years in the California state legislature.

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