Wendy Davis and Rick Perry Square Off

Davis receives a supportive hug as she prepares to filibuster.
Credit: Politico

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat, jumped into the national spotlight when she staged a filibuster that lasted long into the night of June 25th, effectively killing an abortion bill that would have shuttered all but a few of the Lone Star state’s clinics. Now, she’s taking shots from former presidential hopeful and Republican Governor Rick Perry.

“It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters,” Perry said Thursday during the National Right to Life Convention, referencing the fact that Davis herself was a teenage mother.

Davis’ 11-hour filibuster ran out the clock on a special session of the Texas Senate, making a vote on the bill impossible. ‘Senate Bill 5′ bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires clinics to meet the same standards that surgical centers do, and mandates that any doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. While Republicans trumpeted support for the ‘protections’ the bill would provide, Democrats claimed that the legislation was nothing but a politcally-motivated maneuver to close legal abortion clinics.

A Davis campaign ad.

“Gov. Perry…let’s stop demonizing women who face very difficult choices in their life. Let’s make sure that we don’t close down 37 of the 42 clinics in Texas and leave women with nowhere to go and put them in a situation where their health will be at risk,” Davis said in a CNN interview when asked what she would say to Perry if she could. She also addressed his jabs earlier that day on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “I’m so proud of my daughters but I could never for a moment put myself in the shoes of another woman confronting a difficult personal choice and it really isn’t for him to make statements like that.”

Perry isn’t taking his party’s defeat lightly, and has scheduled a second special session for Monday to revisit the bill after making it a top legislative priority. Despite Davis’ hope that ‘the same individual voices’ in the Senate and the community will bring down the abortion limits once again, Republicans will be in a much better position to pass the bill this time around.

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