By Dave Andrusko
It could not have worked out any better for her. Pro-abortion feminist “icon” Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis worked the room—in this case the sympathetic editorial board of the Dallas Morning News— like the slick politician she is and there are largely favorable headlines everywhere as she massages her stance on “late-term” abortions.
Did the author of an 11-hour filibuster against a law that would protect unborn children capable of feeling pain from abortion renege on the issue that propelled her to stardom in the pro-abortion firmament? Had she flip-flopped? Was she just altering her rhetoric to “adjust” to the political realities in Texas? Or was she really just reiterating what nobody at the time understood her to be saying when the capitol of Texas was under siege by her pro-abortion compatriots?
I hadn’t heard the following, rather astonishing variation until yesterday. Written for the Daily Beast by Keli Goff, the headline reads, “How Wendy Davis Became America’s Conscience on Abortion.”
Goff makes some interesting concessions in coming to the bogus conclusion that what Davis (who is running for governor) really objected to more were other parts of an omnibus bill such as heightening the requirements for abortion clinics and regulating how chemical abortifacients are distributed. If you believe Goff, Davis (described as a “shero”) is guilty of one thing and one thing only: telling the truth. Put another way, it’s a “faux controversy.”
Let’s decipher what Goff means by that.
Goff is quite right that the point of fetal viability is changing, thanks to medical technology. But viability is not the issue on the table: it’s whether we believe we ought to take the life of an unborn child capable of experiencing pain.
Goff is largely right when she deciphers a recent Gallup poll on abortion. As we have discussed many times, read honestly the poll tells you that a majority of Americans oppose the reasons 90%+ abortions are performed.
Specifically, with regard to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (which is what Goff/Davis are talking about but without using the title) Goff writes
“64 percent believe it should be illegal in the second three months of pregnancy. That number jumps to 80 percent in the final three months. That means that most Americans—including those who believe abortion should be legal—wouldn’t consider the Texas 20-week ban extreme, or unreasonable.”
So, how does that make Davis our collective “conscience” on abortion? She “actually articulated the position of most Americans on abortion.” If she really did support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Davis would be on the same side as a large majority not only Americans in general but Texans in particular.
But you have to read carefully what Davis said—both the direct quotes in the Dallas Morning News story and the many paraphrases–to realize that even as she positions herself as being where most Americans are, her language is loaded with qualifiers. In other words, between the assurances of her reasonableness Davis clearly wants a law that can be expanded in accordion-like fashion to include any reason.
Here’s the story’s paraphrase of her position: ”Wendy Davis said Tuesday that she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if the law adequately deferred to a woman and her doctor.”
In her own words, Davis said
“It [the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act] was the least objectionable,” she said. “I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.”
Rhetorical filler notwithstanding, how is that not abortion defined as a decision made by a “woman and her doctor”?
Goff’s position, as mentioned above, is that Davis is on the side of the angels: “If Davis made any misstep at all, it was the gaffe she made by simply telling the truth, which is that her position on abortion is like that of most thinking, feeling, Americans with a conscience.”
If only that were true. But, as I wrote earlier, “Not a chance. Pro-lifers, first in Texas but also all across America, know exactly why the Abortion Establishment has already raised millions for Davis’ campaign against pro-life Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: she is one of them.”