The right’s bogus attack on Wendy Davis

A predictable new ad campaign criticizes her record on abortion -- here are the facts

Topics: Wendy Davis, Abortion, War on women, After Tiller, State Sen. Wendy Davis, Right to Life,

The right's bogus attack on Wendy DavisWendy Davis (Credit: AP/Eric Gay)

Just in time for Texas state senator Wendy Davis — who rose to a prominent place in the political spotlight this summer after her epic 11 hour filibuster over the draconian Senate Bill 5 – to announce her candidacy for governor on Thursday, the Texas Right to Life organization is rolling out radio ads denouncing her as the “abortion zealot” they want voters to think she is.

But considering that Texas Right to Life boldly calls itself the “Pro-Life Truth Team,” maybe it’d be a good time to examine the truthiness of that team. On its site, it states “Wendy Davis opposes any limits on abortion and even called late term abortions ‘sacred ground.’” In the ad, which will run in English and Spanish, the organization declares, “Wendy Davis puts late-term abortion ahead of our faith, our families and our Texas values…. This past summer, Republicans and Democratic state legislators passed limits on second and third trimester abortions when babies are fully formed. Extremist groups protested this new law and rallied around abortion zealot State Senator Wendy Davis. Wendy Davis believes terminating babies even halfway through pregnancy is okay. Wendy Davis is wrong on life, wrong for our children and wrong for Texas.”

How “okay” does Davis feel about the issue? Here’s what she said in a July interview with the Texas Observer: “The mutual goal is to decrease abortion. No one is pro abortion…. The only thing that really gets to the root of decreasing that demand is decreasing unplanned pregnancies. And the only way to do that is to empower women to be able to achieve that. Women want to be responsible, and I think it is disrespectful to assume that women empowered to prevent unplanned pregnancies won’t choose that…. And the idea that somehow if we talk to young people about sex and the consequences of unprotected sex will create a demand for it is really absurd and unfortunately is contributing to the high rate of teen pregnancy we see in Texas.” Oh my God, what a lunatic. In a piece she wrote for CNN that same month, she noted that Senate Bill 5 “would close down almost 90% of the women’s clinics in this state. This comes after more than 50 women’s health clinics providing cancer screening and family planning services were closed because the Republicans withdrew state-financed support from them. Under this draconian proposal, a state as expansive as Texas would have only five clinics remaining to serve thousands and thousands of women.” Oh, yeah, sounds like she’s all about abortion and nothing but. Davis’ crazed position is that “The Supreme Court has made that decision, and it’s one of the protected liberties under our Constitution, and I respect the Constitutional protections that are in place today.” Extremist!

And that quote that late term abortion is “sacred ground”? What Davis said during an August luncheon: “I will seek common ground because we all must. But sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground. Liberty: the freedom to choose what your future will hold.” She didn’t call abortion sacred, you illiterate numbskulls, she called liberty sacred.

Sure, she has voted consistently in favor of women’s health and against attempts to undermine reproductive freedom. And though she’s taken considerable guff from the far right for stating, regarding late abortions, that “I again think that a lot of people don’t really understand the landscape of what’s happening in that arena today and what an incredibly small percentage of procedures take place,” she is quite correct. What is lost in the overheated rhetoric around choice is that late term procedures make up 1 percent of all abortions – and that the reasons women seek them often include devastating and fatal fetal abnormalities. What is conveniently overlooked in all the ostensible concern over precious life is that, as Dr. Susan Robinson, one of only four late term abortion providers in the nation explains, “This is a complex issue. This is not done casually.” Sometimes in life we are forced to make very difficult choices, but in this country, we still have a constitutionally protected right to make those choices. That’s not zealotry. That’s being reasonable and respectful. Not everyone is pro-choice, but as Davis has said, with words coming out of her own mouth, “No one is pro abortion.” And that, despite what the Texas Right to Life contingent would have you believe, is the truth.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...