Wendy Davis, as we all know, came to national recognition as the result of a 13-hour-filibuster against a sweeping new abortion bill. In other words, she supports reproductive rights. Since June, however, she's infuriated the pro-life right several times, over and above the general degree of fury they feel towards her, by distancing herself from that stance, or trying to do so. When she mentioned her filibuster during her announcement that she would run for governor this year, she meant the 2011 mini-filibuster, which was about education funding. In November, she said that she herself is "pro-life," because she cares about the lives of children and women.
And yesterday she told the Dallas Morning News's editorial board that she's generally opposed to abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and might support a ban on them, although a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation was a key part of the bill she filibustered:
“I would line up with most people in Texas who would prefer that that’s not something that happens outside of those two arenas,” Davis said.
But the Democrat said the state’s new abortion law didn’t give priority to women in those circumstances. The law allows for exceptions for fetal abnormalities and a threat to the woman’s life, but Davis said those didn’t go far enough.
“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 said.
Davis's critics see this as transparent political posturing. I would argue that although there are plenty of examples of political posturing from Davis (as from most politicians), these comments are consistent enough. Three reasons that Davis deserves the benefit of the doubt, after the jump.