By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life Committee
I arrived in Dallas on Tuesday, June 25, the eve of our 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention. The news dominating the state was the filibuster of Senate Bill 5, taking place in the state Senate. SB 5 would expand protections for both unborn children and their mothers in Texas, including unborn children capable of feeling pain who are 20 weeks or older. Due to a variety of now-famous circumstances, the bill was not adopted before the special session’s midnight deadline.
Thursday morning, our convention opened with great excitement as Governor Rick Perry welcomed us to Texas. I had the honor and the pleasure of introducing him and sitting next to him as he addressed a very enthusiastic and receptive crowd.
The governor’s comments were unapologetically pro-life. They were also sincere and straightforward. (See “Gov. Perry Remarks to the National Right to Life Convention”)
Toward the end of his remarks, he used, as an example, the senator who led the filibuster. Not referring to Senator Wendy Davis by name, he stated, “In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single mother. She was a teenaged mother herself. She eventually graduated from Harvard Law School and served in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to recognize its full potential and that every life matters.”
Abortion advocates, media outlets, and even Senator Davis herself, went wild. The accounts of what Governor Perry said have been so completely distorted that it is no surprise if the citizens of Texas don’t recognize the way their governor was being portrayed.
The Governor’s statement has been described as “condescending and offensive,” it is said that he “admonished” her, “attacked” and “insulted” her, and took a “cheap shot” at her. Senator Davis said that he “tarnished” the office of Governor. Now, two weeks later, he is still being criticized for his supposed insincerity.
Notice that Senator Davis’s own website states, “She began working after school at 14 to help support her single mother and three siblings. By 19, Wendy was a single mother herself, working two jobs to make ends meet in hopes of creating a better life for her young daughter.”
In a video for “Generation TX,” Davis begins by saying, “I was raised by a single mom.”
I was there as the Governor described the difficult circumstances Senator Davis has weathered in life–circumstances she herself discusses publicly. It was apparent to any fair-minded person that he admired her accomplishments. He recognized her hard work and determination to succeed.
And Gov. Perry also raised a legitimate question: “Why would she not give someone else that same chance to succeed?”
Through her opposition to SB 5 and her filibuster, Senator Davis has shown her true colors in favor of unrestricted abortion on demand of unborn children capable of feeling pain. At the same time, Governor Perry has shown nothing but compassion for the mothers of Texas and their unborn children.