State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) said she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy under certain conditions.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday Davis, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, told the paper’s editorial board that she “would line up with most people in Texas who would prefer that that’s not something that happens outside of those two arenas.”
“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 told the editorial board.
Prior for running for governor Davis skyrocketed to national attention for an 11-hour filibuster against an anti-abortion bill in the legislature that, among other things, included a 20-week abortion ban. Davis said that ban, which eventually became law, didn’t allow enough options for each woman and her doctor.
Davis added that she might have actually supported a bill that included a 20-week abortion ban but the one she filibustered included too many restrictions on clinics and also reduced access to abortions in certain areas of Texas.
“It was the least objectionable,” Davis said. “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.”
Pro-choice groups did not see any contradiction between Davis’s comments in the Morning News interview and her past filibuster.
“There is no question that Wendy Davis the only candidate in this race who has been consistent in putting Texas women and families first,” Emily’s List spokeswoman Marcy Stetch said to TPM in a statement. Stetch then pivoted to attacking Davis’s likely Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“Greg Abbott has a appalling, anti-woman agenda and Texas voters are seeing the complete contrast between these two on this – and just about every other – issue,” Stetch said.
Planned Parenthood Votes Executive Vice President Dawn Lugens made a similar argument in a statement to TPM:
Abortion later in pregnancy is very rare and often happens under heartbreaking and tragic circumstances, and like the majority of Americans, Wendy Davis believes that these personal health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. What’s clear is that Wendy has spent her life standing up for Texas women and their families while Greg Abbott has fought to restrict access to safe and legal abortion and women’s health care. As governor, Wendy Davis will continue fighting to protect women’s access to health care and will stand up to politicians and special interest groups dead set on turning back the clock for women.
This story was updated.
Correction: This story misattributed the quote from Planned Parenthood. It was from Dawn Lugens, not Gena Madow. We regret the error.