Wendy Davis Reclaims Life Story From Rick Perry

Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Remember when Rick Perry said Texas state senator Wendy Davis’s life story — the teen mom, raised by a single mom, who goes on to Harvard Law School — was proof women didn’t need abortion rights after all? Davis makes an appearance in Jeffrey Toobin’s New Yorker report from the abortion fight in Texas to fuel further speculation that she’s running for governor and to reframe her biography.

Yes, she was successful despite becoming a mother at a young age but family planning like Planned Parenthood offers doesn’t stop being important after you give birth, she explains. (Six in ten women who get abortions are already mothers.) You can get through college with a kid, but not as a perpetual baby-making machine. Davis said:

As a young woman, Planned Parenthood was my only source of health care. When I was eighteen to twenty-one that was the only place I could go — the clinic on Henderson Street, in Fort Worth. That’s my story. I was a nineteen-year-old mom. But I wasn’t a twenty-year-old mom and I wasn’t a twenty-two-year-old mom, because I had that clinic to help me plan my family. I got to go to school. I got to make a success of myself.

Another good nugget from Toobin: Did you wonder why orange became the signature color of the Stand With Wendy micro-movement? Planned Parenthood wanted to get 1,000 shirts made on short notice for the filibuster, and the University of Texas Longhorns’ burnt orange was the only shade in supply.

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Wendy Davis Reclaims Life Story From Rick Perry