U.S. Rep. Speier: ‘intolerant people’ use the word abortion ‘to cast shame’

"For me there was no guilt, only the pain of a pregnancy that did not work," said Speier.
Tue Feb 22, 2011 - 6:22 pm EST

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2011 ( - After sharing an emotional story on the House floor about her own abortion last Thursday, Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier of California has now penned an article claiming that the term “abortion” is only used to bolster “intolerant thinking” concerning the killing of unborn children.

“In our nation’s political dictionary ‘abortion’ is a word employed by intolerant people to cast shame on women who choose it,” wrote Speier in a Huffington Post column Sunday.

Speier had described the story of her abortion after Rep. Chris Smith, speaking in defense of a budget amendment that would defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood Thursday evening, quoted the testimony of one of the organization’s directors who left the abortion business after watching a live image of a child being killed by an ultrasound-guided abortion.

“There is nothing whatsoever benign or caring or generous or just or compassionate or nurturing about abortion,” said Smith. “Earlier one of our colleagues called abortion healthy for the child. Abortion dismembers children piece by piece. ... Have you ever seen what a D&E [dilation and extraction] is? The doctor goes in with forceps and this device and literally hacks that baby to death.”


Responding, Speier said, “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.” She chastised Smith for suggesting that abortions are sought “cavalierly.” Her emotional testimony won strong accolades from abortion supporters.

Speier spokesman Tim Schlittner said after the speech that the congresswoman did not consider the event she described to be an “abortion,” but rather a “miscarriage”; however, a Huffington Post article later confirmed that Speier was referring to an abortion procedure she underwent in her early 40s.

In her Sunday column, Speier again spurned use of the word “abortion” as pejorative, and referred to the event as “a painful time in my life when the pregnancy my husband and I prayed for was unsuccessful.”

“For me there was no guilt, only the pain of a pregnancy that did not work,” she said. “The fetus had slipped from my uterus into my vagina and could not survive. To stave off a life-threatening infection and to keep the possibility of a future birth alive, I had what’s called dilation and evacuation or ‘d & e.’

“But for people, particularly my colleagues who don’t want Planned Parenthood to be funded, I simply had an abortion.”

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