Washington (CNN) – Disclosing a miscarriage is a powerful revelation for any woman to make. For a US Congresswoman on the House floor, it's downright striking.
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.
"I had a procedure at 17 weeks pregnant with a child who moved from the vagina into the cervix," Speier said. "And that procedure that you just described is a procedure that I endured."
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.
Friday, 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."
Following the amendment's passage in the House Friday, the Congresswoman released the following statement:
"Last night, I spoke on the House floor about a painful time in my life when the pregnancy that my husband and I prayed for was unsuccessful. I had what's called dilation and evacuation or d & e. The fetus slipped from my uterus into my vagina and could not survive. Today some news reports are implying that I wanted my pregnancy to end, but that is simply not true. I lost my baby," she said.
"It is time to stop politicizing women's health. For some, describing a procedure like the one I endured is nothing more than talking points. But for millions of women like me it's much more-it's something that will always be a part of us.
"Planned Parenthood provides vital services to women including family planning and cervical cancer screenings. I am disappointed that the House passed the Pence amendment to defund it. These sorts of policies would turn back the clock on women's health and reproductive rights. I urge the Senate to defeat it. It is time to stop playing politics with our lives."
CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report