Texas abortion activist Wendy Davis claimed she aborted her unborn baby out of “empathy and understanding” in a column for Elle magazine this week.
Davis, a former Texas state senator and failed gubernatorial candidate, said she did not always believe in abortion. As a young girl, she said she wrote in her diary about how wrong abortion was and how she could not understand why women would choose to abort their unborn babies.
She blamed those early thoughts on immaturity and an uncle who took her to a church that “steeped” her in the “teachings of the evangelical movement.”
As she grew older, she said women’s stories and her own personal experiences convinced her that abortions should be legal and readily available throughout pregnancy.
How did my own thinking on abortion evolve? It’s simple really. I opened my heart to the understanding of other women’s stories. I saw the role that reproductive autonomy through contraceptive care played in my own ability to rise from struggling single mom to Harvard Law School grad. In short, I began living a life of empathy and understanding. I came to see that no outsider should ever be allowed to impose his or her judgment on what women know to be best for ourselves. And then, many years after becoming pro-choice, I made an abortion decision myself, terminating a much-wanted pregnancy after the discovery of a fatal fetal abnormality. I cannot imagine someone making such a deeply personal decision for me.
But the decision was not just about her. It also involved her unborn baby’s life. Because Davis’s baby had a disability and likely would die, she decided that her child’s life was not worth living. She chose violence and death over compassion and life.
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Some choices are wrong, no matter how much society condones them. The legal choice to abort another human being is not empathetic or compassionate. If a child is suffering and near death, society should ease the child’s pain and provide the best comforts available, not kill the child.
Yet, that is Davis’s position. And she claimed the “choice” to abort a baby could be taken away very soon if U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.
Let’s be clear what this is all about. The political forces supporting Kavanaugh’s appointment aren’t just trying to end abortion. They’re trying to stop women from controlling our own lives, families, and futures. They are dead-set on making sure that women will remain unequal in the eyes of the law, society, and the economy. Their success will devastate any hope that we have of living to our fullest potential. So, yes, the stakes are high and our voices are needed as much, if not more, than they’ve ever been.
But Davis could not be more wrong. Pro-life leaders are not trying to control women. They simply do not think any human being should be allowed to kill a helpless, innocent child. They think mothers and fathers should be responsible for their choices and their children’s lives, before and after birth. And, unlike Davis, they believe women are capable of living up to their fullest potential without having to sacrifice their own children’s lives.