ABC, NBC, and CBS began their Wendy Davis love fest on June 26 during their evening newscasts, but it was also rehashed for their morning shows. Davis, a Texas state senator, has become a rock star of the left for a filibuster, which temporarily scuttled a bill, which was vociferously opposed by pro-choice advocates, to regulate the state's abortion clinics.
The liberal Democrat became a single mom at nineteen, yet put herself through Harvard Law School. Those are admirable achievements, of course, but the Big Three networks have egregiously used her life story to mask the extreme agenda she supports with her opposition to the bill.
The new law, which Davis killed (for now), would’ve banned abortions 20-weeks into a pregnancy. The bill also would have required abortion clinics to meet the same regulations as surgical facilities – and upgrade their medical equipment.
For their part, ABC and NBC stressed that this bill would place stringent regulations on abortion clinics, but omitted that it would restrict late-term abortions, which is recognized as constitutional through the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003. And while they offered a prediction that the bill would shut down thirty-seven of Texas’ forty-two abortion clinics, they failed to explain that that is because those clinics are not up to par with medical and surgical standards that the new law would establish.
Bill Clinton loved to insist that he wanted abortion to be legal but also safe and rare. This bill would keep abortion legal but regulate it to make it safer and more rare. Unfortunately, folks watching the broadcast networks did not get the full story, or a fairly presented one, regarding the controversy over SB 5.
As for CBS, Manuel Bojorquez asked Davis about the new climate of safety the bill would create. She said that proponents of the bill were unable to “demonstrate that that would make a safer climate for women, or that there was an existing safety problem within the existing clinical climate today.”
So, the Kermit Gosnell case earlier this year out of Philadelphia doesn’t represent a problem with the "existing clinical climate"? One could say that Davis’ unfortunate statement is indicative of the media blackout that was pervasive during the trial of the Philadelphia abortionist, whose clinic had been dubbed a house of horror, and performed illegal late-term abortion. No, Kermit wasn’t a member of the criminal underground. His clinic was in full view of the public.
What’s glaring about this Wendy Davis saga is that she’s an advocate for an unpopular position. She ended her interview with ABC last night saying, “I feel great today, I feel like the People of Texas had a tremendous victory.” It’s funny since 62 percent of Texans want the new abortion bill to be passed. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of Americans support banning late-term abortions. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans feel that that third trimester abortions are acceptable. It seems that only within the halls of America’s newsrooms is such a position popular. That probably explains why no supporter of the legislation was featured in any of the three news broadcasts last evening.
Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session for July 1. We shall see how networks react when the bill is passed during that time. In the meantime, we’ll have exchanges like this on CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL You know, it's quite a story in Texas. I mean, an eleven-hour filibuster, where she had to put on a back brace – or attempted to at one point – but could not lean, go to the bathroom. The opponents of this bill say it would close all but five of 42 abortion clinics in – in Texas-
CHARLIE ROSE: And her life story is a very interesting life story-
O'DONNELL: Her life story is really – she was a single teenage mother who made her way to Harvard Law School. And she's going to become big figure now, I think, in Texas politics.
Davis was unable to capitalize on Obama’s coattails in 2012, winning re-election with a mere 51 percent of the vote. Texas plans to re-district in the near future, thus her rising star status is solidified – for now.