Jackie Speier Abortion Speech Helps Women, Hurts GOP

Kim Conte
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jackie speierIt's been a tough week for women, that's for sure.

If you're keeping track, there was a bill in South Dakota that could have legalized the murder of abortion providers (it's since been shelved after all the bad press). There was the news of the attack on Lara Logan and subsequent victim-shaming. Finally, there's the devastating news just minutes ago that the House has voted to bar Planned Parenthood from all federal funding for women's health and sex education services.

Instead of being discouraged by the continued onslaught of bad news for women, one woman -- Rep. Jackie Speier -- came out swinging. In a very emotional speech, the California representative made a very brave admission not just to the House, but to the rest of the world ...

During a very heated House debate on the Pence amendment, she revealed she had an abortion when she was 17 weeks pregnant because of medical complications.

Rep. Speier said she was moved to tell her story after New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith read a graphic account of abortions from a book in an attempt to sway members of the House to vote for the amendment. After delivering her personal story, Speier rebuked him:

... 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.

She then went on to chide Republicans for wasting Americans' time when there are much more important issues at stake -- for instance, unemployment:

To think that we are here tonight debating this issue when the American people are scratching their heads and wondering, "What does this have to do with me getting a job? What does this have to do with reducing the deficit?" And the answer is: Nothing at all.

Speier's courage is truly astounding. To share such a personal story to a roomful of people who are hostile to her position on the topic and to open herself up to judgement from the entire world takes guts and tremendous strength. Unfortunately, the Pence amendment has since passed the House as stated above, but if more women are inspired to tell their stories, then maybe there's a chance it will be killed in the Senate.

It may have been a tough week for women, but after watching Speier, it makes me prouder than ever to be one.

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