NPR logo House Abortion Debate Gets Personal; Rep. Speier Tells Her Story

House Abortion Debate Gets Personal; Rep. Speier Tells Her Story

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). Charles Dharapak/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Charles Dharapak/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).

Charles Dharapak/ASSOCIATED PRESS

As NPR's Audie Cornish noted in her report on Morning Edition on Friday, much of the debate now taking place over the stopgap spending bill replays the arguments of the last two years when Democrats controlled all of Congress as well as the White House.

And some of the debate goes back even further than that, like the fight over legal abortion, which now extends back decades.

Thursday evening witnessed some passionate debate over federal funding of Planned Parenthood services in light of efforts by some members of the House GOP to defund Title X of the Public Health Service Act.

The debate included Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) telling of how she had an abortion.

Fox News' America's Election HQ blog reports:

Just before Speier assumed the floor, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), one of the most ardent anti-abortion voices in Congress, spent several minutes reading explicit descriptions of what happened to one woman when she had an abortion.

"I planned to speak about something else. But the gentleman from New Jersey just put my stomach in knots," Speier began. "I'm one of those women he spoke about just now. I had a procedure at 17 weeks pregnant with a child who moved from the vagina into the cervix. The procedure you just described is the procedure I endured."

Hushed conversations in the back of the chamber between aides and lawmakers ceased as Speier made the declaration to her colleagues.

"For you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly, is preposterous," Speier said to Smith.

The vote on the Title X defunding amendment is expected Friday.