Wendy Davis: 'I don't know what happened in the Gosnell case'
Texas state senator says women who support limit on late-term abortion 'don't really understand' the issue.
4:29 PM, Aug 5, 2013 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Texas state senator Wendy Davis spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday afternoon about her 13-hour filibuster of a bill limiting late-term abortion, her life story, and her future in politics.
Davis has become a champion for pro-choice activists, but during her recent whirlwind national media tour, she never commented on late-term abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder in May for killing infants moments after they were born.
Following her Press Club speech on Monday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked Davis to explain the difference between the late-term abortions that the Texas state senator wants to keep legal and the illegal Gosnell killings.
Davis didn't answer the question. "I don't know what happened in the Gosnell case," she told me.
In June, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was similarly unable to explain the difference between the Gosnell murders and late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards ducked the question in July.
Polls have consistently shown that solid majorities of Americans, including women, support banning most abortions that occur later than 20 weeks after conception.
Asked what she thinks of polls showing women support limiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Davis told me that people "don't really understand" the issue.
During the question-and-answer session following her Press Club speech, Davis was asked what legal limits on abortion she does support.
"The Supreme Court has made that decision, and it's one of the protected liberties under our Constitution, and I respect the Constitutional protections that are in place today," she said.
That was a dodge because the Supreme Court has never established a gestational age-limit on abortion. What the Supreme Court said in Planned Parenthood v. Casey is that states may limit abortions after viability, which the Court said in 1992 occurred at "23 to 24 weeks" into pregnancy. Medical advancements have moved the point of viability up to 22 weeks into pregnancy (20 weeks after conception), the point at which the Texas law and bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives would ban most abortions.
Here's the full transcript of Wendy Davis's brief exchange with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, which ended abruptly when Davis turned to talk to another reporter:
Recent Blog Posts