Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, touted as a progressive icon in an ultra-conservative state for her 13-hour filibuster of a 20-week abortion ban bill, has now said she might support the ban.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Davis said this week that she may have supported the bill if it didn’t generally restrict access to abortion in the state.
“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," Davis said, calling the bill “the least objectionable."
“My concern, even in the way the 20-week ban was written in this particular bill, was that it didn’t give enough deference between a woman and her doctor making this difficult decision, and instead tried to legislatively define what it was,” Davis explained.
Davis pointed out that less than one-half of 1 percent of abortions in Texas occur after 20 weeks. In most cases, women who wait that long must do so because of fetal abnormalities that would cause a threat to her health if the procedure were performed earlier.
Davis, who is angling for a Democratic nomination in the state’s gubernatorial race, said she would “line up with most of the people in Texas” who support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks outside of those circumstances.
Some are calling Davis out for changing sides in an opportunistic effort to build statewide support for her campaign. Gawker’s Adam Weinstein accuses Davis of “jettison[ing] progressive values over the side of her slow-moving campaign ship with every new incoming wave,” while The Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn writes, “Davis should stand by her core beliefs and frame them as firmly in line with the strong libertarian streak in Texas.”
Davis also made headlines last week for joining with her Republican rival, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in support of expanding gun rights with open-carry handgun laws.