Saturday, September 06, 2014

Davis discloses medically necessary abortion in memoir

Your Friday evening bombshell.

Sen. Wendy Davis, in her memoir due out next week, discloses the most personal of stories preceding her nationally marked fight against tighter abortion restrictions: a decision she and her then-husband made 17 years ago to end a much-wanted pregnancy.

It's very candid and very emotional.

Davis, in a copy of the book obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, wrote that her unborn third daughter had an acute brain abnormality. She said doctors told her the syndrome would cause the baby to suffer and likely was incompatible with life.

After getting several medical opinions and feeling the baby they had named Tate Elise “tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her” in the womb, she said the decision was clear.

“She was suffering,” Davis wrote.

The unborn baby's heart was “quieted” by her doctor, and their baby was gone. She was delivered by cesarean section in spring 1997, the memoir says.

Davis wrote that she and her then-husband, Jeff, spent time with Tate the next day and had her baptized. They cried, took photographs and said their good-byes, she wrote, and Tate's lifeless body was taken away the following day.

“An indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief, a heavy wave that crushed me, that made me wonder if I would ever surface. ... And when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed,” Davis wrote.

The issue of choice has once again laid bare the seething, boiling misogyny of the extreme right.   If the article's comments are any indication, that is.  Mark Jones gets it right for once.

Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said he doesn't expect the revelation to lose any votes for Davis, since he said it's a relative small proportion of voters who oppose abortion in cases of severe fetal abnormality.

“The group that will be most bothered by her having an abortion of a baby with a severe fetal abnormality is a group that wasn't going to vote for her anyway,” he said.

“The positive side of it for her is it humanizes her, and also makes it a little tricky for opponents to attack her on the abortion issue because now, it not only is a political issue for her, but it's a personal issue,” Jones said.

It energizes her core support, and it energizes her core opposition (to the extent that they could be any more angry and bitter and unhinged).  In this Kos diary you find some anecdotal evidence that there are Democrats who weren't supporting Davis before because of her stand on choice, and have, like conservatives, hardened their hearts to a greater degree with this revelation.  This is going to be your news of the day, all weekend.  And the court of public opinion will render a verdict on the political influence it gives both sides in less than 60 days.

Update: More from Socratic Gadfly, and this from Vox.

Talking about abortion is rare — but the actual experience isn't. More than one in every five pregnancies —  21 percent, excluding miscarriages —  are terminated, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit research organization that supports abortion rights. Each year, 1.7 percent of American women between 15 and 44 have an abortion.

There are literally millions of women who share a dark secret.  They are bonded in their... whatever emotions you wish to assign to their experience (a tricky game, for certain).  I stand in support of those women who are the only ones that can understand the heartache, the social stigma, and the consequences of their experience.  All they should receive from all of the rest of us is unequivocal, unconditional support of their choice, whichever choice they made.

But as long as we live in a state and a country that believes there is an invisible man in the clouds watching every thing you do -- and judging you for potential admission into his afterlife paradise -- then his minions in this realm will keep taking on the judgmental part as their personal privilege.

Fuck those assholes. We ain't going back in time to the days when coathangers and pennyroyal tea were the only choices women had.

More updates: Greg Abbott responds, and the UT poll results from last summer are worth repeating.

"Overall, 76% of Texans thought a woman should be allowed to have an abortion when her life was in danger, and 57% thought that a woman should be able to obtain an abortion when there was a strong chance of a serious fetal abnormality."

Those numbers include a lot of Republicans.


Gadfly said...

Well put on the invisible man part, especially since the modern GOP wants to visibly take his place.


I felt I had to comment on the political angle, as it is a campaign bio, she chose to mention this, and you, I and many another person know she's been half gunshy about this issue since her filibuster last year.

Gadfly said...

Going beyond Vox? Somewhere around 1 in 3 pregnancies spontaneously abort due to genetic or other medical issues.

So much for the invisible man in the sky being an Intelligent Designer or anything other than the Great Abortionist.

Greg said...

The problem with the logic behind the "1 in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriages" argument (and the related insult directed at the religious beliefs of a couple hundred million Americans regarding the existence of God) is best demonstrated in this comparable argument -- "Somewhere around 100% of human lives end in death, so there is no moral problem with killing another human being if you believe you have a good reason".

PDiddie said...

Just utterly moronic.

Gadfly said...

Greg, yes, you're more moronic than usual.

First, Francisco Ayala is a nominal, at least, Catholic.

Second, it shows that (whether you're insulted by it or not, I don't give a flying fuck) that the birth process is a lot more unreliable than you Xn Rightists would have the rest of the world believe.

Third, I'm surprised that people like you don't already use your argument to justify the death penalty. Or waterboarding.