Rep. Speier Explains Abortion Procedure, Says Congress Must Stop Politicizing Women’s Health

By MichaelJames

Feb 18, 2011 8:45pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:

Just a day after Rep. Jackie Speier revealed that she once underwent a type of abortion procedure, the California congresswoman emphasized that it was not her wish to have an abortion, but rather a difficult decision informed by consultations with doctors to end her baby’s life because doctors said it had no chance at survival.

“Last night, I spoke on the House floor about a painful time in my life when the pregnancy that my husband and I prayed for was unsuccessful,” Speier, D-Calif., said in a statement Friday evening. “I had what’s called dilation and evacuation or d & e. The fetus slipped from my uterus into my vagina and could not survive. Today some news reports are implying that I wanted my pregnancy to end, but that is simply not true. I lost my baby.”

Late Thursday evening, Speier took to the House floor to respond to comments made by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., against Planned Parenthood federal funding, and stunned the House when she described her personal experience.

“I had planned to speak of 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,” Speier said Thursday evening on the House floor. “I had a procedure at 17 weeks, pregnant with a child that had moved from the vagina into the cervix. And that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured. I lost a baby.”

Today, Friday, the House of Representatives passed a measure to end federal funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood. The measure would eliminate about $330 million through the end of September for preventative-health services, including federal funding for contraception and cancer screenings, at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

Planned Parenthood is already prevented by federal law from using federal dollars for abortion services. The amendment passed Friday would take away the money Planned Parenthood uses to provide for family planning, birth control, medical and preventive services.

In reaction to the vote, Speier says that now is the time for Congress to stop politicizing women’s health.

“For some, describing a procedure like the one I endured is nothing more than talking points. But for millions of women like me it’s much more — it’s something that will always be a part of us,” Speier stated. “Planned Parenthood provides vital services to women including family planning and cervical cancer screenings. I am disappointed that the House passed the Pence amendment to defund it. These sorts of policies would turn back the clock on women’s health and reproductive rights. I urge the Senate to defeat it. It is time to stop playing politics with our lives.”

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