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Texas' Wendy Davis Reveals Details Of 2 Abortions

In the heat of the state's race for governor, the Democratic candidate has shared the personal story behind two terminated pregnancies.
Posted at 4:32 PM, Sep 06, 2014

All eyes are on Democratic candidate for governor of Texas Wendy Davis after she revealed some deeply personal details in the heat of her campaign.

Davis's upcoming memoir "Forgetting to be Afraid" touches on two abortions she had before embarking on her political career. 

In the memoir, Davis says she terminated a pregnancy after discovering the fetus had a brain defect. She recalls the doctor stopping the heart of the baby and then removing it via C-section.

She also said she went through an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy which causes the embryo to implant outside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is dangerous for the mother and leaves little chance for survival of the child. But the termination of these pregnancies is still considered abortion under Texas law and doctors must report them as such. 

It's worth mentioning, some media outlets are referencing only one abortion in their headlines, choosing not to classify the termination of the ectopic pregnancy as an abortion, while others are noting both of them. 

The big question here is why Davis chose to share these personal details at this particular moment, just a couple months from election day. Although we didn't know the issue of abortion touched quite so close to home for Davis, the candidate has certainly taken a strong stand to make the practice safe and legal in Texas.

Last year, Davis became a national political figure after waging an 11-hour filibuster that forced Texas legislators to open an entirely new special session to pass a bill restricting abortions in the state.

The new details released by Davis might simply be meant to help humanize the candidate. At least, that's how her campaign seems to be framing this.

After releasing the memoir excerpt, her team posted on her Facebook page, "Like so many of us, Wendy Davis struggled to pay the bills, raise a child on her own, and get an education. She also discusses a great tragedy her family has suffered."

And she tweeted, "My story is one of great joy & tragedy, familiar to millions of Texans who overcome challenges because they have dreams for their children."

And although it's easy to imagine conservative outrage at Davis' story, so far reaction has been quite nuanced. The Christian Post seemed sympathetic and noted Davis' pained description of that time in her life, when she says she felt "a deep, dark despair and grief, a heavy wave that crushed me."

But, of course, there is a more cynical, political explanation for why Davis is releasing this information now. With the Democrat trailing her opponent significantly, some pundits believe this new information will help her at the polls — and that Davis' campaign knows that.

"I think people who are supporting Wendy Davis because she's pro choice, they're going to stay with her. I don't think, people who are pro life, they'll sympathize with her...It's not going to gain her extra votes."

Davis' opponent, Greg Abbott, hasn't said much since this release, but did release a statement saying, "The unspeakable pain of losing a child is beyond tragic for any parent. As a father, I grieve for the Davis family and for the loss of life."

This week's polls have shown Abbott leading Davis by 18 points in the polls.