CHOICE/LESS Season 3 opens with a behind-the-scenes look at history being made. This week, host Jenn Stanley interviews former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis about the great lengths she took to kill the sweeping anti-abortion bill that became the infamous Texas HB 2. (Parts of the law were later ruled unconstitutional in the U.S. Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, but more on that next week!) Davis became a household name when she filibustered the bill in June of 2013.
CHOICE/LESS often covers the legislative efforts to restrict abortion and how they hurt people in real and tangible ways, so it’s nice to turn the spotlight on someone who has stopped at nothing to fight these laws, even when the odds have been stacked against her. If you’ve ever been curious about what happens during a contentious legislative session, and what it takes to push back against bills that could be harmful to constituents, then this episode is for you. Davis also discusses what drove her to get into politics, and is candid about the fights that have felt the most personal and why she chose not to back down.
After a version of SB 5 was pushed through the Texas legislature and passed, she decided to run for governor, where she thought she could be more effective. She lost the election, but maintained her status among those on the frontline of the fight for reproductive rights. During the 2016 presidential election, she helped campaign for Hillary Clinton, and felt devastated when her candidate lost to President Donald Trump, who said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during his campaign that he believed women who had abortions should face some form of punishment.
Davis now works to inspire young people to get civically engaged through her non-profit organization, Deeds Not Words. She’s a living example of what it means to speak up, even when powerful people have been desperate to silence her.
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