During a debate Thursday evening over whether to defund Planned Parenthood, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, described her own personal experience with the dilation and evacuation procedure.
Speier was responding to a description of the procedure that Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, read as part of his opposition to Planned Parenthood.
Speier continued, "I lost the baby. And for you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought, is preposterous."
According to Tim Schlittner, Speier's spokesman, the revelation was spur-of-the-moment.
"It was not planned," he said. "Chris Smith of New Jersey was talking about a procedure that's known as D and E, and that is the procedure that the congresswoman had."
"She was moved to speak out about it," Schlittner added. "He knew very little about it. She spoke from the heart about her own experience."
Rep. Smith's office did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
Contrary to some news reports, Speiers did not have an abortion.
"She did not consider it an abortion, it was a miscarriage," Schlittner said. "The fetus moved to where it could not survive, so they had to end the pregnancy."
Speier's admission came during a heated debate on the House floor over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, is spearheading the effort to deny funds to the group. The House voted Friday to deny funding to the group.
Speier's spokesman said the measure was "dead-on-arrival" in the Senate.
Today, Speier thanked supporters on her Facebook page.
"I'm overwhelmed by the warm comments I've received from across the U.S today," she wrote. "I will always stand up for women's health and reproductive rights."