Wendy Davis: Disputed Texas abortion bill likely to pass
July 9th, 2013
01:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Wendy Davis: Disputed Texas abortion bill likely to pass

Austin, TX (CNN) - Two weeks after her marathon filibuster against new abortion restrictions in Texas made her instant political celebrity, reality has set in for State Senator Wendy Davis.

Following the launch of a "Stand with Texas Women" bus tour with fellow Democrats to oppose the state's hotly contested abortion bill, Davis conceded to CNN the measure is likely to pass.

"It will be very difficult because unfortunately the voices that have been here crying out against this bill are not going to be heard," Davis told CNN in a brief interview.

"But I don't think it's the end. It's the beginning of a battle line," she added.

Last month, Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster that temporarily stalled the bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks and create new, potentially practice-ending requirements for doctors performing the procedures across the state.

Texas Governor Rick Perry responded to the legislative roadblock by calling lawmakers back for a special session to reconsider the measure, essentially assuring its speedy passage through the Republican controlled House and Senate.

Due to tough statehouse rules governing filibusters, top legislative aides in the Texas Capitol said it's unlikely Davis would be able to stop the bill a second time.

"That's probably the case," Davis agreed.

The popular state senator was mum on the subject of running for governor after Perry announced Monday he would not seek a fourth term in office.

"I'm not going to comment on that right now. We've got our hands full trying to beat this bad bill back," Davis said.

Still, she appears to be keeping the door open to a gubernatorial campaign. At the "Stand with Texas Women" rally, Davis repeatedly spoke past the abortion issue, jabbing Perry and top GOP leaders for becoming what she called "a real threat to people's rights."

"This truly is a turning point, a pivotal time for us to step up and take back what our Texas is and should be," Davis told CNN.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said it's too early to accept defeat on the abortion issue.

"You never give up," Richards said, holding out hope Republican lawmakers would reconsider.

"You'd hope they might rethink their position. All we can do is make sure is that the voices of women and men and families in this state are heard."

Filed under: Abortion • Texas • Wendy Davis
soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. Samantha M.

    It's amazing how abortion advocates can differentiate between abortion and murder of a fetus at 20 weeks by the virtue of wanting the baby to continue developing or not as the definition of it being called a life. So that's what it's come down to? So if a person assaults the womb of a developing fetus and kills it and the female does not want it – it's not a count of murder? What kind of sick rationalization is that? At least with death penalty convictions, those individuals had a chance to grow to full adulthood – that is not the same with the aborted fetus – he or she never had a chance at life.

    July 9, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Ralph Hagen

    The reason Perry is so intent on getting this passed is he told his sister it would. His sister stands to gain a lot of money if it does. Check out where she works and what would open up for her business. She stands to gain a lot and those who have to use that system she well put in place are going to be charged huge rate increases.

    July 9, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Aaron P.

    We're not talking about a machine, we're talking about something infinitely more valuable, a human heartbeat. If death is legally defined as the absence of a hearbeat, why would life not be defined as the presence of a heartbeat?

    July 9, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Damia Savon

    For all those people who say "the woman had X months to decide". That is simplistic and incorrect.

    1) Pregnancy tests are not 100% accurate early on. They are much better than they were but still generate false negatives.

    2) Women usually don't try to get a test until they miss a period. Women who have irregular periods may not realize anything has changed for 2 or more months. Even if pregnant, bleeding can occur so women can think they are still having periods and not take a pregnancy test.

    3) Not all babies are active. Some babies do not kick or move a lot.

    4) Over confidence in contraception, infertility, etc. Contraception methods do fail. Women can be too invested in them to get a pregnancy test after missing a period.

    5) Initial pregnancy symptoms match other illnesses. If you think you are depressed, for example, you can ignore the fatigue, weight gain, etc.

    6) Exercise – an active woman can negate the weight gain that occurs during pregnancy so she might not realize her body is changing.

    7) Denial – if a woman really does not want to have a child then she can ignore the evidence of a pregnancy and chalk it up to other conditions until the pregnancy has progressed even until the point of labor. Scary but true.

    So one problem with arbitrary times is that women do not immediately know the are pregnant. It is easy for two months to go by before a pregnancy is confirmed. After that, there is a matter of coming to terms with it and reaching a decision. I doubt most women know immediately what they want to do.

    Of course when you force clinics to close, like this bill will do, then it is harder for a woman to find a clinic or hospital to perform an abortion. Travel time can be in order, time off work, as well as associated costs all figure into the equation. It is easy to miss a cut off date if as you save and try to arrange to get an abortion.

    Reality is not as clear cut and simple as people want it to be.

    July 9, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. abbydelabbey

    Where is the government trying to control women's reproduction?
    (a) Iran
    (b) Afghanistan
    (c) Iraq
    (d) Texas
    (e) all of the above ....

    We are spending billions fighting religious extremists around the world, and all the while the Texas government is controlled by religious extremists trying to create their own version of a theocracy.

    Keep voting GOP/TP and watch America become like the aforementioned countries....

    July 9, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Drew

    People who call it hypocrisy to pro-death penalty and pro-life need to understand something. The death penalty is there as a PUNISHMENT for someone killing another person or more than one. A baby is innocent and doesn't deserve to be killed because of the mother's wishes, particularly as a convenient means of birth control.

    July 9, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. Drew

    Anyone who is pro-choice should be forced to witness an abortion from start to finish, then shadow the mother for the next month. Anyone who would remain pro-choice after that would need to be placed in a mental hospital.

    July 9, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Frank

    So it turned out that Perry was doing this so that his sister would make lots of money by charging high prices for abortions..?

    July 9, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. A in Pa

    What really makes me angry is that this issue was decided by the Surpreme Court, but because the 'right to lifers' have no respect for rights of those who don't agree with them, they are doing a end run around that law. Taking away a womens' right to manage her own health by denying some medical options available, mainly the right to terminate a pregnacy, at the state level. These laws fail to take into account that there may be medical reasons to terminate a pregnacy late term, and who wants to have legal issues and have to drag their case to court while dealing with a medical crisis? Really have a little faith in God and humanity and trust that people don't willy nilly make these choices. Besides what happened to privacy in my Doctors office??????

    My concern is that if they win this case they won't stop with abortion, these folks want their religious philosophy written into law, they want to go back to no birth control, having a doctor or pharmisest denying services they don't personally agree with and generally policing the public according to their own personal religiously driven self-appointed moral surperiority. They are demonstrating no respect for the rights of those who don't subscribe their beleif system all the while telling themselves that they have others best interest at heart, let me remind them that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    July 9, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Damia Savon

    The fetus is not viable outside the womb until 24 weeks. After then the fetus has a good chance of survival outside the womb. 22-23 weeks a fetus can survive with a lot of medical help and associated health problems. 20-21 weeks a fetus cannot survive period.

    5 months is not always a lot of time when you consider 2 to 3 months can go by before realizing you are pregnant in the first place. If you have to travel a distance because there are no clinics close enough, then that adds time.

    The primary problems with this bill are:

    1) Hospital has to be within 30 miles of a clinic. If no hospital is withing the arbitrary 30 miles then the clinic closes. This will be the case in a lot of rural areas. These clinics provide more than just abortion services so women lose healthcare access just when they need it if they do want to keep the trial.

    2) The doctors have to affiliate with a hospital. Affiliation just means the doctor can admit patients and practice there. Hospitals will treat a patient in the ER without a doctor being affiliated. Hospitals who do not want to affiliate with an abortion provider because of the hassle can force clinics to close.

    3) Clinics are already regulated in Texas and perform safe abortions. The law requires them to upgrade to surgical centers. According to the AMA and ACOG this is over kill and unnecessary. To become an accredited surgical center means additional staff and training, it means meeting different building codes, it means paying an accrediting body, it means additional equipment that is not needed to perform abortions. You can use a sledge hammer to pound a nail in but a regular hammer works just as well.

    So some clinics will close because there is no hospital close enough. Others will close because no hospital will want to affiliate and others will close because they cannot move, renovate, or upgrade to the new regulations.

    This is just a way to keep abortion "legal" while removing access to a clinic that provides abortions.

    I wonder what all the "anti-abortionists" will do when they cannot get abortions.

    July 9, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Petra

    It is very interesting that no one disputes that fact that an abortion will kill a human being. So that we are clear, those people who oppose this bill think it is perfectly fine to kill an innocent human being simply because she is not yet born. Those who oppose the bill do not want laws that protect innocent human beings simply because of their current age and location. Ask yourself – why have any laws at all if only the ones who have the power can protect themselves? What ever happened to the idea of protecting the weak and defenseless from those who would harm them?

    July 9, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. TeeJay

    Let's just say it, then contact our representatives to amend the Bill with the following if it passes. "All men who father unwanted babies, then leave the female to care for it alone or seek an abortion, shall undergo mandatory castration". This way, there is something to lose on both sides...

    July 9, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Bubba Ray

    The GOP ain't yet found a female reproductive function it didn't want to control. But other than that we don't need no gubmint control in our lives.

    July 9, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. 7th Congressional District, Virginia

    Wow, another 20 minute Democrapic hero.

    July 9, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Bobby

    The voices of women in Texas are being heard.....they think killing babies is wrong so they support the bill. What doesn't this lady get? Any self respecting southern gal wouldn't dare think of murdering children, so why is Davis?

    July 9, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. Britannia

    I just can't believe how many women think it's OK to take away the choice of other women. Don't they understand that to be pro-choice doesn't mean each woman embracing this principle would opt for an abortion: I'm pro-choice but it's extremely unlikely I'd ever choose an abortion! As for men weighing in on the subject, words fail me .....

    July 9, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. Donald

    "Pro-Life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you!
    No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothin'!
    If you're preborn, you're fine. If you're preschool, you're screwed."
    ~ George Carlin

    July 9, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Ancient Texan

    MarieMD- Brace yourself, more Red states will emerge and sanity will return to America.

    July 9, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. devldog1986

    All the hype about this chick, please go away.

    July 9, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. Elliott Carlin

    if you saw someone hacking their arm off, you'd try to stop them (if you were sane). if someone was having an operation to remove a body part, you'd expect them to have full access to diagnostics etc. yet liberals are against letting women see the ultrasound of their baby.

    make adoptions as cheap as abortions and you'll have very little issue with anyone–that is if they are intellectually honest about the issue.

    July 9, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Al

    I hope the women of Texas realize what they've lost.

    July 9, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Elliott Carlin

    and Diana, be honest as your profession calls you to be: All we will ever be as humans is wrapped up in those first two cells. We aren't talking about a blood clot.

    July 9, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Pest

    Even if you take the ridiculous stance that a fetus is the same as a living, breathing person, no person has the right to use the body of another person against that person's will. Even if we give the fetus fetishists every benefit of the doubt, abortion should still be legal.

    July 9, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. mikaman3000

    to the man-hater known as DIANA.....comparing the most heinous of societies' criminals, whose own actions have caused them to pay the ultimate price, to innocent babies in the womb, who do not even get the chance to have a say in the snuffing out of their own life, in an attempt to win this argument is not only deluded, but even more revolting, is the fact that not only do you have these twisted opinions, but you also seem to have your "finger on the pulse" so to speak when it comes to deciding who lives or dies. I wouldn't classify myself as pro-life or pro-choice because I don't believe that this issue is as black and white as so many people would like to paint it, but I guess if there was a wire hanger aimed at my head, I would much rather be a hypocrite than a butcher of babes any day. DISGUSTING, DISGUSTING, DISGUSTING !!!

    July 9, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  25. Jason

    The biggest fallacy: "The right to CHOOSE." I should not have a right to CHOOSE to infringe upon someone else's basic rights. Our country's founding principles: All men are endowed by their created the right to "LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Without the right to LIFE, there are no other rights, including the right "to choose." This is not about the rights of women or men, this is a basic, "inalienable" right, or "Natural Right" as Locke would have said, afforded to all human beings – born or unborn. Abortion is murder and should be outlawed. Period. I, and many others, will do everything in our power to ensure that abortion is outlawed. It is modern day slavery. The arguments are the same, "Not human, my property (body)" blah, blah, blah. Um, NO.

    July 9, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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