Wendy Davis declares herself ‘pro-life’

COMMENTARY BY
ERIN McCORMICK

One of the candidates for the 2014 Texas gubernatorial election spoke out in a way that turned some heads Nov. 5.
“I am pro-life,” Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat representing District 10 in the Texas Senate, stated. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future, I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”
Davis has lived an unconventional life compared to the average American politician. She grew up in the broken home of a barely-educated single mother who worked at an ice cream shop to support her four children. By the age of 19, Wendy herself was a single mother living in a trailer park. She enrolled in a two-year paralegal program at a community college before transferring to Texas Christian University with a full ride. Davis managed to work two jobs and raise her daughter while maintaining excellent grades. She went on to graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School. From her rough beginnings she rose to the Texas State Senate and is making waves on the national political spectrum with her run for governor of Texas.
Davis’ comments about her view of herself as pro-life were met with controversy, something she is all too familiar with: Davis catapulted onto the national stage in June when she led an 11-hour filibuster of a bill in the Texas Senate that was, by all accounts, the beginning of the end of abortion clinics in the state of Texas. Millions across the country watched, with Democrats proclaiming her a champion of women’s rights and Republicans saying her actions were evil.
But no one mentions the true nature of Davis’ stance on women: they have the right to a safe abortion. “Pro-choice” does not mean “pro-abortion.” No one wants to see abortion happen. I, of course, cannot accurately speak for anyone other than myself, but those who proclaim themselves to be “pro-choice” want nothing more than for there to never be another abortion in the United States. But that concept is obviously not a possibility at this time. And no matter what kind of restrictions are in place, women will find themselves in situations where they decide that having an abortion is the best possible option. Abortion is not an easy decision by any means, and it leaves the parents with an emotional tear that can take months or years to heal. And it should go without saying that, if the occurrence of abortions is inevitable, women should have access to safe options. Without the strict regulation of abortion, we see monstrosities like what occurred at Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia. The only way to ensure that the options are safe is to keep legal the right for a woman to choose abortion. That is what Davis is pushing for, despite what her critics would say.
And many of her critics are the same politicians who advocate for abstinence-only sex education and for restricting access to birth control, two measures that have been proven to actually increase the number of abortions. The same ones who have spent tens of millions of dollars on 46 attempts to repeal a bill that would extend health care to millions of Americans who otherwise could not afford it. The same ones who believe in tax breaks for major corporations but recently cut food stamps for 47 million people. Yes, Davis is in fact “pro-life,” because pro-life means that you do not stop caring for the child once he or she exits the womb.

Contact the writer:
erin.mccormick@scranton.edu

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