Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) Responds To Abortion Shamers by Sharing Her Own Story
During a U.S. House debate in 2011, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) responded to comments on abortion made by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and her words caught everyone off guard. The video has recently been making the Internet rounds, and Speier's words still ring as true today as they did when she spoke them two years ago.
"I'm one of those women he spoke about just now," she says. "I had a procedure at 17 weeks ... that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured. I lost a baby. 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.
Speier's speech inspired women across the country to speak out. Her website explains:
In the days that followed Speier received thousands of letters, calls, and e-mails from women not just in California, but around the country. They shared with her that they had endured similar procedures themselves but had never spoken out because of the stigma created around the issue. Others talked about how Planned Parenthood had become their only health care option and how pleased they were that she and her colleagues were fighting for it.
Although Speier hadn't planned to talk about her personal experience, the fact that a male politician thought he knew how best to take care of women's bodies emboldened her to do so. Speier's own pregnancy was wanted but she underwent an abortion after complications arose.