Wendy Davis Reveals She Had Two Abortions, MSNBC Says it Will “Resonate” With Women Voters

State   Jeffrey Meyer   Sep 8, 2014   |   9:44AM    Austin, TX

It seems as though MSNBC is still trying to find a weekend use for Karen Finney after canceling her show. Finney, former DNC Communications Director and board member of NARAL, appeared on Up w/ Steve Kornacki on Saturday, September 7, to comment on news that Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had an abortion 18 years ago.

The former MSNBC host insisted that Davis’ abortion story could be a political weapon for the candidate who is struggling to keep up with her Republican opponent. Finney proclaimed that “from a political standpoint, it is something that I think will resonate with moderate women.”

wendydavis8After host Steve Kornacki remarked that “Wendy Davis reveals in that memoir that she terminated a pregnancy 18 years ago for medical reasons” Karen Finney seemed confused over what to call Davis’ baby and awkwardly claimed that “they had named the child, right and she thanks the child in the, you could say fetus or child.”

The former MSNBC host went on to argue that Davis’ abortion could be a strong political tool as she attempts to rebuild her campaign:

I think that’s probably helpful for women who find themselves in the same situation and the women’s vote in Texas is very important. But also from a political standpoint, I think it’s wise, because she’s now defined the nature of the story. And I think it makes it that much harder for Greg Abbott or anyone else to try to cast her as some sort of evil person for having done this.

While Finney was quick to jump on Davis’ abortion as a potential political weapon, Robert George of the New York Post threw some cold water on the NARAL board member’s fantasy:

But politically I’m not really sure if it changes things one way or the other. Because first of all, I don’t think it’s not something that Greg Abbott is going to make a political, a political attack or even you know, even talk about. He’ll say this is a personal thing and kind of move on. Because I think people who are supporting Wendy Davis because she’s pro choice, obviously they’re going to stay with her. I don’t think, people, you know, who are pro life, they’ ll sympathize with her. But I don’t think, it’s not going to gain her extra votes.

Unsurprisingly, Finney doubled down on her claim and concluded by arguing once more that Davis’ abortion story will “resonate” with Texas women:

I do think given a lot of the previous things that Greg Abbott has said and sort of his position, I think from a political standpoint, it is something that I think will resonate with moderate women, and again, there’s been so much anger among women and I think we’ll see if it’s a motivating factor. If all of the Hobby Lobby’s and all the things that have happened in terms of taking away women’s rights, this is the kind of thing that actually I think could make some women voters sort of think differently about it.

See relevant transcript below.

MSNBC

Up w/ Steve Kornacki

September 6, 2014

STEVE KORNACKI: We’re moving south to Texas and to the race for governor there. This is going to be a pretty big story this weekend. In an excerpt of her memoir that is out on Tuesday, it is now being reported that Texas Democrat Wendy Davis reveals in that memoir that she terminated a pregnancy 18 years ago for medical reasons. It came two years after another medically necessary abortion that she’d previously disclosed. Davis shot to national fame last year after her 13-hour filibuster in an effort to defeat abortion restriction legislation.

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In her new book she writes that she was already in her second trimester. She and her then-husband, named their expected daughter when they learned the fetus had a serious brain abnormality. Doctors said that if the fetus made it to term and survived delivery her daughter could be in a permanent vegetative state. The couple decided to end the pregnancy.

Davis writes quote, “an indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief. A heavy wave that crushed me. It made me wonder if I would ever surface…and when I finally did come through it, eye emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.” So yes, this will cause I think a pretty big stir this week. And obviously a very, very  personal revelation on her part. And you know, Wendy Davis, the politics of abortion is sort of central to the rise of Wendy Davis in Texas.

KAREN FINNEY: That’s true. Although I think the way she talked about this, and you know, I serve on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America. And for women who have to undergo this kind of procedure where as she described it, they had named the child, right and she thanks the child in the, you could say fetus or child. But point being — this was clearly a very hard decision.

And I think she goes to great lengths to describe how torturous a decision that is and I think there’s two things. Number one, I think that’s probably helpful for women who find themselves in the same situation and the women’s vote in Texas is very important. But also from a political standpoint, I think it’s wise, because she’s now defined the nature of the story. And I think it makes it that much harder for Greg Abbott or anyone else to try to cast her as some sort of evil person for having done this.

KORNACKI: Well that’s what I wondered. In a state like Texas. You know, conservative state, Republican state, and there certainly are plenty of pro choice people in Texas, but there’s certainly plenty of pro life people as well. To tell a story like this, that is as Karen said, sort of a wrenching personal story. This is not a casual abortion or anything like that. This is somebody who is agonizing over it and yet felt the necessity to go through with it. I wonder if in a state like Texas, there are people who maybe consider themselves more on the pro-life side and look at that and maybe think about it a little differently.

ROBERT GEORGE: She may get a certain amount of sympathy in terms of the dynamics of that decision. But politically I’m not really sure if it changes things one way or the other. Because first of all, I don’t think it’s not something that Greg Abbott is going to make a political, a political attack or even you know, even talk about. He’ll say this is a personal thing and kind of move on. Because I think people who are supporting Wendy Davis because she’s pro choice, obviously they’re going to stay with her. I don’t think, people, you know, who are pro life, they’ ll sympathize with her. But I don’t think, it’s not going to gain her extra votes.

FINNEY: The difference is women. Moderate women voters. I mean, for a lot of women how she describes what happened, that’s how women think about it. It’s not so cut-and-dry as I’m for it or I’m against it. It’s more a sense of, I don’t know if I should have been the person or the government should be the person to tell Wendy Davis what to do in that situation. So it’s so complicated for women.

And I do think given a lot of the previous things that Greg Abbott has said and sort of his position, I think from a political standpoint, it is something that I think will resonate with moderate women, and again, there’s been so much anger among women and I think we’ll see if it’s a motivating factor. If all of the Hobby Lobby’s and all the things that have happened in terms of taking away women’s rights, this is the kind of thing that actually I think could make some women voters sort of think differently about it.

LifeNews Note: Jeffrey Meyer writes for Newsbusters.