The long-running war the religious right has waged on women and their freedom to decide for themselves whether and when to have children found a new target this weekend: the acknowledgement by state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor, that she had two abortions in the 1990s because of truly heartbreaking medical reasons.

The first was in 1994, when Davis found out she had an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy cannot proceed normally, the fertilized egg can’t survive, and the woman’s life is also in serious jeopardy if the pregnancy isn’t terminated. Davis’ second abortion was in 1997, after multiple doctors told her that the daughter she and her husband were expecting suffered from a severe brain abnormality and would likely not survive delivery or would, if she did survive, be in a permanent vegetative state.

Faced with excrutiatingly difficult decisions and after considering the advice of her doctors, Davis chose to terminate both pregnancies. She and her husband grieved over the loss.

But Melissa Conway of the radical anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, treats Davis’ revelation and what she experienced with open contempt. In a sneering opinion column on the Texas Tribune’s TribTalk website, Conway pretends to know why Davis really grieved — because she chose abortion:… Read More

Texas Eagle Forum, a state chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s right-wing group, has published in its January newsletter part of an incendiary Internet column from last summer that leveled vicious personal attacks on state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Davis is running for Texas governor this year.

The group’s Torch newsletter says Davis and fellow Democratic state senator Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio, who is running for lieutenant governor, “represent a culture of death” and insists that they “must be defeated.” The same article includes an extended excerpt from a June 30, 2013, column by right-wing writer J. Robert Smith. Smith’s column appeared in The American  Thinker.

In the excerpt Smith declares that Davis “is a soldier — now a lieutenant — in the longstanding, broading war waged by the left against traditional morality, virtues, and values” and supports “eliminating unborn babies.” He also calls Davis “this year’s Sandra Fluke,” a Georgetown Law School student whom Rush Limbaugh had called a “slut” because she supported requiring that health insurance cover contraception.

He even sneers that Davis, who was a single mother of divorced parents who worked herself through college, is an elitist because she went to Harvard… Read More

With Sen. Wendy Davis earning widespread praise and support for her courageous filibuster in the Texas Senate last week, some on the right apparently have decided to adopt an old tactic often used against influential women: make her physical appearance an issue.

We first saw this vicious post on a new anonymous blog – realwendydavis.wordpress.com – yesterday. (The blog’s tagline: “A closer look at the Left’s new feminist superhero.”)

The post asks in its headline: “Wendy Davis: Surgically Constructed ‘Human Barbie Doll’?” It then goes on to compare her physical appearance today to how she looked more than two decades ago. From the post:

Somehow, during the past two decades she has been transformed from a frumpy, pleasant looking but plain-faced, flat-chested brunette with thick, messy hair, into a buxom blonde with excellent facial features and sleek, long, perfectly coiffed hair, like she stepped straight out of Vogue.

For someone who in the early 1990s was a feminist activist in law school, and who is currently posing as a champion of women’s rights, standing up to men who seek to dictate the way women should live, she seems to have devoted an unusual amount of attention to… Read More

We just sent out the following press release after Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s patronizing and deeply insulting speech at the National Right to Life conference this morning:

TFN PRESIDENT: GOV. PERRY LECTURES WENDY DAVIS WHILE FAILING TO ADDRESS THE TEEN PREGNANCY DISASTER IN TEXAS

Miller Calls on Governor to Add Passing Comprehensive Sex Ed to Call for the Special Session

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller today reacted with dismay over Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s attacks on Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, for filibustering an anti-abortion bill on Tuesday.

“Instead of arrogantly lecturing Wendy Davis and other women who have had unplanned pregnancies and faced challenges he can’t begin to imagine, Rick Perry should address his failure as governor to deal honestly with the teen pregnancy epidemic in his own state,” Miller said. “He opposes girls and young women learning about birth control in sex ed so they can responsibly protect their health and their future. Just as appalling has been his support for policies that limit women’s access to family planning services.”

Miller noted that throughout Gov. Perry’s tenure, Texas has had one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation. Texas had the nation’s fifth highest teen… Read More

As expected, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced that state lawmakers will be back in Austin for a second legislative special session starting July 1. Lawmakers will again take up critical transportation and criminal justice bills that they failed to pass in the first special session because the governor and far-right legislators were more interested in promoting the war on women.

During the first special session, religious-righters had arrogantly assumed that they could easily ram through passage of their extreme agenda — including legislation interfering in the personal medical decisions women make with their doctors about whether and when to have children. But they suffered a painful defeat in a raucous Senate chamber Tuesday night.

There were a lot of heroes responsible for Tuesday’s historic victory for Texas women. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, held the floor by courageously speaking against Senate Bill 5 for 11 hours. Other Democratic senators, including Kirk Watson of Austin, Rodney Ellis of Houston, Royce West of Dallas, and San Antonio’s Leticia Van de Putte (who arrived in the chamber just hours after her father’s funeral), also played critical roles in defeating SB 5.

But the staff of our incredible coalition partners… Read More

Chuck Lindell

Texas House gives final approval to SB 1978, known as the Chick-fil-A bill, on 79-64 vote. It returns to Senate to consider amendment that struck a section giving the AG power to sue to enforce the bill. #txlege Background: statesman.com/news/2…