June 28th, 2013
10:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Davis shrugs off Perry's scolding

(CNN) – The deeply personal criticism that Texas Gov. Rick Perry leveled at state Sen. Wendy Davis Thursday diminished the position he holds, she said in an interview Friday.

Speaking at a national "Right to Life" conference in Dallas, Perry took aim at Davis' own background, claiming she had learned the wrong lessons from being born to a single mother and having her first daughter as a teenager.

"The fact is, who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?" Perry said, noting Davis had gone on to graduate from college and Harvard Law.

"It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example, that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters," the Republican governor said.

Speaking Friday on MSNBC, Democrat Davis said the decisions she's made in life don't qualify her to dictate how another woman should live.

"I would say to him that I had the privilege of making a choice about the path I chose for my life, and I am so proud of my daughters, but I could never for a moment put myself in the shoes of another woman confronting a difficult personal choice, and it really isn't for him to make statements like that," Davis said.

The state lawmaker, who represents a district in the Fort Worth area, became a hero to abortion rights supporters this week after staging a 13-hour filibuster of proposed legislation that would place new restrictions on abortions in Texas. The law would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and place new regulations on abortion providers.

The measure, declared dead after Davis' marathon filibuster, will be reconsidered during a special session of the state legislature convened by Perry next week.

Filed under: Abortion • Rick Perry • Wendy Davis
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Steveo

    @Malory Archer


    "The law would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and place new regulations on abortion providers."
    I understand the entire right to choose thing, but, any woman who decided after five months to kill her baby is a monster.


    Yeah, except that the vast majority of abortions performed after 20 weeks are due to serious medical problems with either the mother or the fetus, and those fetus issues are most times discovered during an ultrasound performed during the second & third trimesters as they aren't detectable in the first trimester. Anyone who would force a woman to carry a non-viable fetus to term only to watch it die is the REAL monster.
    Somehow I believe most abortions after 20 weeks are for convenience.

    June 28, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Rick

    Oh, but it's ok for the Republicans to filibuster nearly every bill brought to Congress in the last 4 years...but one Democrat does it once and it's sooo terrible...

    June 28, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. spynnal

    House GOP members have set congressional records with their number of filibusters during the past 5 years. Yet one filibuster on the state level is drawing this amount of press and ire? Unbelievable.

    June 28, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. kariorit

    20 weeks and after only for medical reasons.... after 14 weeks for the same deal is reasonable and gives the choice. I'd like to see frivolous ab**tion banned... but who is to decide what's frivolous? don't want someon making that call for folks. I'm opposed to anything after 12 weeks when brain activity begins, but do admire this woman for fighting for what she believes to be right.....bet it was a long 13 hours.... Good for her!

    June 28, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. paul

    i'm not going to spend much time on this but what a moron Rick Perry is. and he was a serious candidate for president? with people like him potentially being the republican candidate, they have 0 chance......

    June 28, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Steveo



    @Rudy NYC

    Steveo wrote:

    While you are hollerin' about the Koch brothers, let us know how you feel about George Soros.
    I don't think George Soros donates to politicians specifically to enact tax policies that would reduced what he owes. Nor does George Soros try to hide behind anonymity when he does make political donations.
    And you know this for certain?
    Anyone who knows anything about the Kochs know they are pushing legeslation that benefits THEM. Their puppet ALEC even writes the proposed laws to be given (with a check) to Republicans in the House, and in legislatures all across America.
    Perhaps, BUT my question was about Soros

    June 28, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. rs

    When did the Republican party become the repulsive collection of sadists that it is today?
    When they became the party of " black or white", "right or wrong" absolutsts. They just want simple yes or no answers to complex problems. That might work great someplace- just not in the real world. It is the evidence of their delusion- their inability to work with history, measurable evidence, facts and science.

    June 28, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Tuckersdad

    If Ms. Davis ever gets tired of the (I can't find a word to describe it) political landscape in Texas, there are plenty of other states in the Union that would be proud to have her.

    June 28, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Durundal

    Oh look, more massive misunderstandings about contraceptives, pregnancies and abortions fueling yet more populist rants which are more concerned with punishing the pregnant than being realistic about the situation under the guise of 'morality'. Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves for only comprehending the most base and simplistic views of the world at such advanced ages

    June 28, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Texas Hick

    Bravo, Wendy. I wish this lady represented my district. Didn't vote for Perry either time, be glad when he is gone...

    June 28, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Ordinary Average American

    Perry is a m o r o n . . . and a rude one, at that!

    June 28, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Ordinary Average American

    Oh, geez, my comment is awaiting moderation! Because I used the word mor on when speaking about Perry, who definitely fits the word!

    June 28, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Ordinary Average American

    Gee, CNN, ever since the election and my anti-Romney views, every comment I make awaits "moderation." This is America, remember? First amendment? Hello?

    June 28, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. pm Ohio

    It is all part of the Rove Plan...can't win national elections because of the liberal states have the most electoral votes, but by the GOP winning all of the conservative states legislatures and Governorships, they then wait for the next census and the jerryrig the state's districts to ensure wins in the US and State Houses of Rep. Then they can control the local laws and money and elections. This is the master plan by Karl Rove...preach smaller Government, returning the emphasis to the States and local rule and have rigged the system to be able to inject religion into local and state politics and try to defeat Roe v Wade...The Tea Party movement has actually hurt the Rove plan by fracturing the GOP...

    June 28, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. cribbooky

    Even though I share her opinion, I do not agree with any mechanism that impedes the process of proper democracy. All bills that are under consideration deserve to allow a majority opinion. The filibuster needs to go. However, no law should be considered unless it can be shown that it a correct practice that does not interfere with the rights of another. As for abortion, I think the same rules should apply for determining life and death equally. If you have a heart beat, you are alive because your heart is pumping oxygenated blood through your system, and you are declared dead shortly after it stops without recovery. For a fetus, it should be the detection of a heart beat. Until then, it relies on the mother and it is an organ, her choice to remove. After the heartbeat has started, it is a human so killing it is murder. That sums up my opinion.

    June 28, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. jim

    @ Phattee. how can you say that she was arbitrarily forced to do this. The alternative to her action was to let the item move through the normal legeslative process. If she is so sure about not making choices for others, but she is also denying the rights of the people that put her and the rest of congress there. By denying the opportunity for a vote, she is making a choice for everyone on this matter. This isnt about abortion as much as the right of the democratic process to play out. Sometimes you are in the majority sometimes not. We have checks and balances if the majority is wrong, there is a governor who can vetoand a court system that can rule it down.

    June 28, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. bill

    The GOP will do anything and I mean anything to hijack the democratic process and disenfranchise voters. It is sad and unfortunate that Davis and millions of Americans have to stand up against Perry and the GOP to fight for their rights over the opinions of a few. It took several hundred Americans the night of the filibuster to put a stop to what the Republicans were trying to do in trying to stop Wendy. What a joke.

    June 28, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. bill

    That's okay Perry, you and the GOP keep trying to disenfranchise voters and we will still find a way for our voices to be heard. Perry is not qualified to lead Texas and it is about time we put a stop to fools like dubya and perry and cruz from representing and destroying our state. See you at the polls!

    June 28, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. A Kickin` Donkey

    The Democrats need a NextGeneration of leaders for national office. Let Harvard Law, Texan, Wendy Davis join Kamala Harris, Juaquin Castro, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Brian Schwietzer as people in the pipeline for Secretary, Undersecretary, Deputy, VP or other positions.

    June 28, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Ms. Davis knows enough to never try to reason with a drunk or take to heart any criticism from anyone who expects "Opps!" to be part of a policy explanation...

    June 28, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Peter

    Texas governor Rick Perry is an unbelievable hypocrite. On the one hand, he says "every life matters," and he calls in another session of the legislature because "Texans care about life," when at almost the same time, Texas executed the 500th prisoner since 1982.

    June 28, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. DW

    we no longer listen to Republicans - they have so little to say, anyway.l

    June 28, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Phattee wrote:

    Sen. Davis was arbitrarily forced to stand with no breaks, no food, no water
    I do believe that those are the rules in Texas. That's what makes her spur of the moment filibuster so remarkable.

    June 28, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. BCW

    Republicans only care about the fetuses and the unborn children while the pregnant women are struggling to obtain healthcare. After the babies are born, the republicans do not, I repeat DO NOT, care about either the newborns or the mothers. And, then, GOP law makers cut or limit the health benefits and social support programs like childcare and headstarts. They are on their own. This is a constant tactic of the GOP to control women from advancing their career and life. Women, vote the GOP out of the office in your states and US congress so that you have the real opportunity to breakthrough and advance. GOPs only see women as breeding machines and should have no rights to make any decision on their bodies. Shame on them !!!!

    June 28, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. American2013

    Wendy Davis graduated from Harvard Law School. Rick Perry made a D in Meat Science.

    June 28, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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