Harsh reality sinking in for the “base”
The reaction to Wendy Davis’ statement that she could support a ban on late-term abortion if there were more deference given to patients and physicians has caused angst in a Democratic base already upset over Davis’ support of Open Carry laws.
Amanda Marcotte at Slate.com called it a betrayal (emphasis added):
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis made her name and kick-started her campaign for governor by filibustering an anti-abortion omnibus bill, standing and talking for 11 hours straight in support of abortion rights. So it comes as a surprise — and frankly, a betrayal — to learn that Davis told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that she could support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, if it gave “enough deference between a woman and her doctor” to make the decision to abort after that point for medical reasons….
You may have bought her sneakers, but when it comes down to it, Wendy Davis is a politician.
Irin Carmon at MSNBC writes, Wendy Davis falls into abortion question trap:
This week, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis delighted her detractors and confounded her pro-choice supporters when she appeared to support the very same 20-week ban she spent 11 hours filibustering…..
It’s far too late for Davis to shy away from abortion rights, including the more politically uncomfortable parts, after confronting them head-on in her filibuster. Regardless of what she was trying to say, a political campaign isn’t a great place for complex or nuanced moral conversations. On the campaign trail, Davis would likely be better off if she stuck to the broader point she made in her filibuster: “The alleged reason for the bill is to enhance patient safety. But what [the provisions] really do is create provisions that treat women as though they are not capable of making their own medical decisions.”
Tata Culp-Ressler at Think Progress (yes, that Think Progress) wrote, Why Wendy Davis’ Position On 20-Week Abortion Bans Doesn’t Make Any Sense:
On Tuesday, Wendy Davis attempted to clarify her position on 20-week abortion bans, one of the policies included in a controversial package of abortion restrictions that passed last summer. The state senator’s dramatic filibuster against that omnibus bill catapulted her into the national spotlight and helped her garner enough support to run for governor. But this week, Davis said she would actually support a 20-week ban under certain conditions.
From a policy position, Davis’ stance simply doesn’t make sense. If the goal is to “give enough deference” to women who are making complicated decisions about their reproductive health, and allow medical professionals to exercise their own judgment about their patients’ care without being hampered by the legislature, that’s directly undermined by the enactment of a ban.
I don’t know if the base is upset with Wendy Davis, or the reality that the Wendy Davis who excited the base with the abortion filibuster cannot win in Texas. Maybe some other Wendy Davis can win, but not the one with pink sneakers.