Georgia lawmaker's speech goes viral after 'heartbeat' abortion bill passes legislature

A Georgia state lawmaker had a speech go viral on Saturday in which she described in personal terms her struggles with pregnancy while speaking out against the state’s "heartbeat" abortion bill.

State Sen. Jen Jordan (D) delivered the rebuke in the chamber last week before the body ultimately voted to pass the legislation banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The legislation was given final approval by the state House on Friday, sending the bill to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) for a signature.

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"My husband and I were talking about this bill the other night, and he told me that he didn’t want me to share anything personal because no one was entitled to that information," Jordan said. "And I have always fiercely guarded my privacy, but ... the deepest, darkest times of my life have occurred in the presence of and with my physician."

The Democrat went on to explain that she had been pregnant 10 times but had given birth only twice.

"I have lost seven pregnancies in varying points of time before 20 weeks and one after five months. Her name was Juliette," Jordan said.

The lawmaker described lying on a medical examination table while a doctor "desperately" looked for a heartbeat.

"I have been escorted out the back door of my physician’s office so as not to upset the other pregnant women in the waiting area, my grief on full display and uncontainable," she said.

Jordan said that throughout her losses, she had never "strayed from the basic principle that each woman — each woman — must be able to make her decisions, in consultation with her God and her family."

"It is not for the government or the men of this chamber to insert itself in the most personal, private and wrenching decisions that make every single day," Jordan told her colleagues.

While the lawmaker said her own personal experiences were not about abortions, she maintained that the right to a woman’s privacy was "at stake" with the bill.

"Matters such as a woman’s ability to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy involve the most intimate and personal decisions a person can make," she said. "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life."

Jordan’s speech began circulating online Saturday, earning millions of views on social media one day after the Georgia House finalized its approval for the legislation. 

Current state law allows women to seek an abortion up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy. If enacted, the measure could limit abortions to as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. 

The legislation makes exceptions in the case of incest and rape but only when the woman files a police report first, The Associated Press reported.

It also allows exceptions to save the mother's life or when it has been determined that the fetus wouldn't be viable outside the mother’s womb because of serious medical issues.

Kemp has said he will sign the legislation.