The Conversation

Wendy Davis Struggles When Asked a Single Tough Question

In the past week since her filibuster, Sen. Wendy Davis has been asked mostly softball questions by the national media. When David Gregory did give her one tough question on Meet the Press she gave an answer which could be used to undercut her own position.

John McCormack at the Weekly Standard pointed out that the media fawning over State Sen. Wendy Davis has produced more questions about her shoes than challenging her stance on abortion. That's not an exaggeration. This Week reporter Jeff Zelezny asked 6 questions, two of which were about Davis' footwear. To his credit, David Gregory did ask Davis one question that no other reporter has:

David Gregory: Senator, do you think a 20-week ban on abortion is acceptable? Do you think it's reasonable?

Sen. Davis: Right now that ban of course is being talked about because of the idea of fetal pain and at the constitutional level what we of course have assured is that women have the ability to make these reproductive decisions up to the point of viability.  That has to remain the key question here. And of course when we're talking about that particular issue there are very, very few. It's used more as an emotional trigger point as part of the argument but remember it's a huge omnibus bill that involves many other aspects to it that are setting Texas back in time.

The first part of Davis' answer is coherent but invites an obvious follow up question. Should we consider fetal pain if there is evidence it begins earlier than viability? But then Davis undercuts her own argument when she says "there are very, very few." If that's so then the portion of SB5 which bans abortions after 20 weeks won't have much impact. 

As for it being an "emotional trigger point" keep in mind that the pro-abortion lobby routinely refers to the equally rare instances of rape and incest as reasons we need to keep abortion legal. NARAL and Planned Parenthood are no strangers to using emotional trigger arguments. A neutral observer might point this out.

As for the remainder of the "huge omnibus bill" one of the main features requires abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical facilities. This is the same determination that was reached in Pennsylvania, Virginia and other states in the wake of the Gosnell trial. As I pointed out here, the grand jury in the Gosnell case explicitly recommended that abortion facilities be regulated as ASFs, noting that failure to do so likely contributed to Karnamaya Mongar's death.

As we've seen recently, leading pro-choice politicians struggle to answer even simple questions about their views. David Gregory got the ball rolling but it's only one question after a week of mostly fawning coverage. What is needed now is some follow up.


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