The Conversation

Wendy Davis Gets Real: No 20-Week Abortion Ban I Could Support

Wendy Davis must be dizzy from all the spinning she's done this week on the question of abortion.

Tuesday morning the Dallas Morning News reported that Davis had said she could support a 20-week ban on abortion, just not the specific one included in the bill she filibustered last June. 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."

The reaction from some on the left was disappointment but the NY Times decided to take the lemons and make lemonade. In a story published Thursday they praised Davis' nuanced position on the issue and assured readers "Ms. Davis and her aides had made similar comments previously." In other words, Davis openness to a 20-week ban isn't really news.

But even as the Times was adjusting to the new normal, Davis was pulling the rug out from under them. She told the San Antonio Express-News Thursday that her comments to the Dallas Morning News had been mischaracterized. "What I tried to convey there was that it's impossible for the Legislature to define artfully enough exceptions that will accommodate everyday situations that women are facing in that arena, and that it has to be left to a woman and her doctor" Davis explained.

So Tuesday there was some version of the bill she could have allowed "to go through" if it was defined "tightly" enough. By Friday the task was simply "impossible." That certainly sounds like another flip-flop but only if you believe for an instant that what Davis said Tuesday was more than Texas sized spin.

As I explained yesterday, the bill Davis filibustered already contained the very exceptions she claimed were necessary. The truth is she didn't want a smarter 20-week ban, she wanted no ban.

Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit argues along the same lines. There is no flip-flop here because Davis' statement about a workable ban was such an obvious sham:

She supports a ban in theory but in practice she wants the state to defer completely to women and their doctors when they invoke the health exceptions to it. In other words, if you say you’re exempt from the law, you are. Boehner should float that idea to Obama the next time he pushes a new assault-weapons ban.

That's not a bad idea. How would the left feel about a ban on AR-15s which could be waived at the discretion of the gun dealer? I'm guessing the New York Times would not see this as a nuanced position on gun control.


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