The reason Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis said she didn't mention her own abortions when she held a filibuster in 2013 to block an abortion bill was because she wanted the conversation to be about "other people in Texas," and not her.
Davis revealed the abortions in her new memoir, "Forgetting to Be Afraid,"
and she told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that, as a state senator, she was trying to "give voice" to Texans while the state legislature debated a law that would ban abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. Despite her 11-hour filibuster, the law ultimately passed.
"I feared that if I did [mention the abortions], that it would make the day about me. And, the day needed to be about other people in Texas, all of those voices that felt like they hadn't been heard and had been ignored," Davis said Wednesday.
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Davis said one of her abortions was the result of an ectopic pregnancy, and the second involved a daughter she named Tate Elise, who tests showed had "a severe brain abnormality."
"We went to four different doctors hoping that someone would give us a different ray, or a small ray of hope. And, none could.
"They told us that if she survived to term, she likely wouldn't survive delivery. And, if she survived delivery, she likely would be in a permanent vegetative state. And, we did what we felt was the most loving thing for our daughter," Davis said.
Doctors gave Davis and her husband "some really good material to read," she explained, adding she "wanted to be able to do the same thing for other people."
Davis also described in her book an episode from her childhood in which her mother contemplated suicide, and could have carried it out, had a neighbor not intervened.
"As she was contemplating taking her life and the lives of her three young children, an angel came into our life that day. A neighbor who had never come into our home before rang the bell, and he sat in the living room. He held my mother's hand.
"He talked to her for quite some time. And, by the time he left, she was through it. And, she came and collected us from the car, and put one foot in front of the other and pushed on for all of us, and did a beautiful job of it," Davis wrote in the book.
Davis told "Morning Joe" she had been "blessed by so many [angels] in my life." She said she got the name for her book from Lady Bird Johnson, former Texas first lady, wife of former President Lyndon Johnson.
"She said you have to get so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. That's story of my life. It truly is," she said.
Davis said her campaign for governor is going "unbelievably well," and is working to "educate the electorate" in Texas, despite polls showing her behind Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott by as much as 12 points, according to Realclearpolitics.com.
"We have a very aggressive ground game going on in Texas, and the energy and enthusiasm behind this race is like nothing I've ever seen in our state," she said.
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