Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, the overnight Democratic celebrity credited with blocking a bill restricting abortions in her state, struck back at Gov. Rick Perry (R) after he criticized her personal history.
Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster last Tuesday in the Texas Senate, which helped block a vote on a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and closed 42 of the 47 abortion centers in the state. After the bill failed, Perry expressed his disappointment that Davis, who was raised by a single mom and got pregnant herself as a teenager, has not learned from her past that “every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential.”
Davis, in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, called the governor’s comments offensive and "a terrible personal thing to say.”
"I've been in the political arena for some time, and it takes a lot to offend me," Davis said. "But what I was offended about was the statement it makes on behalf of women throughout the state of Texas. I think it showed disregard for the fact we all we each own our own personal history, we make choices and have the opportunity to take chances that present themselves to us. What this is about is making sure that women across the state of Texas have the same opportunity to make those choices and have the same chances that I had."
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After the bill was defeated, Perry announced that there will be a second special session on July 1 to get the abortion bill passed.
"But, what they now have to confront is that the eyes of Texas, the eyes of the country, are watching and they are going to be held accountable for the decisions that they make in this process," Davis said about the special session. "If people continue to see that their voices are being ignored I think we're going to see a long-term sustained response to that in the state of Texas."
Though Davis was able to overcome the challenges of being a single teen mom to go on to graduate from Harvard Law School and become a state senator, she believes that each woman deserves the chance for reproductive freedom and taking away access to abortion clinics will mean that thousands of women will resort to unsafe, illegal measures to get an abortion.
"People who are completely objective and outside the political dialogue, like the American Obstetrics and Gynecology College, are saying to us: If this happens in Texas, women in impoverished, remote areas of Texas — and believe me, that means of thousands and thousands and thousands of women will no longer have access to this safe reproductive health care," she said. "We all know what happens in the context of the lack of that access; we've seen it before in our country's history.”
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Despite Davis’ news-grabbing filibuster and the mob of pro-choice supporters that flooded the Senate chamber to stop the bill from passing, the GOP-controlled Texas government will undoubtedly find a way to restrict abortion rights in the state.
According to Davis, it is not for the greater good or protecting the innocent — it’s for Perry’s own political aspirations.
"I think really what's happening here ... is politicians are using this issue to boost their own political aspirations, their own political positions — and they're bulling women and their liberties, their personal constitutionally-guaranteed liberties, in the process," she said.
Watch her interview here: