HALTOM CITY, Tex. — A Democratic senator in Texas that made headlines earlier this year for her attempts to block a pro-life bill from being passed by state lawmakers has announced her candidacy for governor.
Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth made the announcement on Thursday at Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City where she graduated from high school over 30 years ago.
“We’re here, of course, because we care about Texas,” she stated to those gathered “We’re here because we care about Texans, and we’re here because we believe it’s time to give all Texans a voice in their future and a place in Texas’ future.”
Davis became known this summer for her efforts to defeat a pro-life bill that sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation, as well as require abortion facilities in the state to conform to surgical center standards. Wearing pink sneakers for the occasion, Davis led an 11-hour-long filibuster to delay voting on the bill, speaking until Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst ended her speech because she had strayed off topic.
“[These bills] do real damage to our state and to the families whose rights are violated, and whose personal relationship with their doctor and their Creator, which should belong to them and them alone, is being violated,” the senator, who graduated from Texas Christian University, claimed during the filibuster.
By 3:00 a.m. the following morning, the bill was officially declared dead. However, disturbed by Davis’ actions, Governor Rick Perry called a special session of the Texas legislature so that the bill could go up for a vote. It later passed and was signed into law.
“I’m all about honest, open debate; parliamentary tactics are certainly nothing new. But what we witnessed … was nothing more than the hijacking of the democratic process,” he stated, speaking at the 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention in Dallas. “This is simply too important a cause to allow unruly actions of a few to stand in its way.”
Perry’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, will be running against Davis in the gubernatorial election as he announced his candidacy in July of this year. Abbott, a paraplegic, has already raised $23 million for the campaign.
“Some politicians talk about having a steel spine; I actually have one,” he quipped. “I will use my steel spine to fight for you and every Texas family.”
Abbott, a Roman Catholic, had investigated a branch of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood earlier this year. In announcing a $1.4 million payback settlement this summer, he outlined that he believed the organization had committed Medicaid fraud.
“[S]tate investigators determined that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast falsified material information in patients’ medical records in order to support fraudulent reimbursement claims to the Medicaid program,” Abbott’s office explained.
The attorney general is also currently fighting a lawsuit from the ACLU and other abortion proponents, which seek to overturn the new abortion regulations passed in the legislature–the very same bill that Davis attempted to thwart.
According to the latest polls, Abbott is leading the race by eight percentage points, but pollsters state that many voters haven’t given much thought to the election at this point.