Well, this is interesting.
I knew Wendy Davis was selling her new book while campaigning — usually that’s done before or after the campaign — but we now know why.
Davis’ book reveals she had two abortions, something sure to shake up the race at a time when taking risks is worth it for her since otherwise she’s going to lose.
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis reveals in a new campaign memoir that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons in the 1990s, including one where the fetus had developed a severe brain abnormality.
Davis writes in “Forgetting to be Afraid” that she had an abortion in 1996 after an exam revealed that the brain of the fetus had developed in complete separation on the right and left sides. She also describes ending an earlier ectopic pregnancy, in which an embryo implants outside the uterus.
Davis disclosed the terminated pregnancies for the first time since her nearly 13-hour filibuster last year over a tough new Texas abortion law.
Both pregnancies happened before Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, began her political career and after she was already a mother to two young girls.
She writes that the ectopic pregnancy happened in 1994 during her first trimester. Terminating the pregnancy was considered medically necessary. Such pregnancies generally aren’t considered viable, meaning the fetus can’t survive, and the mother’s life could be in danger. But Davis wrote that in Texas, it’s “technically considered an abortion, and doctors have to report it as such.”
Davis said she and her former husband, Jeff, wound up expecting another child in 1996 after they decided to stop taking birth-control measures. During her second trimester, Davis said she took a blood test that could determine chromosomal or neural defects, which doctors first told her didn’t warrant concern. After a later exam revealed the brain defect, Davis said she sought out opinions from multiple doctors, who told her the baby would be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state if she survived delivery.
“I could feel her little body tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her, and I knew then what I needed to do,” Davis writes. “She was suffering.”
Note that in both instances the abortions are set up as medical necessities, framing the issue just the way Davis wants. I don’t think most people think of terminating an ectopic pregnancy as abortion, so it might be more fair to say she had one abortion, although she counts them as two.
So why didn’t she reveal them earlier if they were medically necessary?
I feel like Wendy Davis's "news" is a last ditch effort to grab national pro-choice money.
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) September 6, 2014
Instant hero status with liberals:
— EMILY's List (@emilyslist) September 6, 2014
Wendy Davis has a lot of courage and is one helluva woman http://t.co/fkU1sKat0u
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) September 6, 2014
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) September 6, 2014
— James Lee (@JamesMateoLee) September 6, 2014
— Annie's List (@AnniesListTX) September 6, 2014
Bold, brave and stunningly personal story in Wendy Davis Memoir—less about politics, more about overcoming pretty incredible challenges
— Greg Wasserstrom (@wssrstrm) September 6, 2014
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