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Planned Parenthood Votes

For Immediate Release
Planned Parenthood Votes media office: 212-261-4433

Planned Parenthood Votes on Wendy Davis Memoir

WASHINGTON, DC -- Planned Parenthood Votes president Cecile Richards released the following statement on Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ courageous revelation of her deeply personal and complex decision to have an abortion later in pregnancy due to a fetal anomaly in her memoir Forgetting to Be Afraid.

Statement from Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Votes:

“Throughout her career, Wendy Davis has fought for women and families with the same unwavering courage she’s displayed today in sharing her deeply personal decision to have an abortion.  While no woman should have to justify her decision, abortion later in pregnancy is rare, and is often due to the same sort of tragic and heartbreaking circumstance that Wendy experienced - the kind of situation where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.  We are grateful to her for sharing her story and shining a light on a subject that is too often hidden in the shadows of shame and stigma by people like Greg Abbott and his allies.  Unlike her opponent, Wendy Davis understands that abortion needs to remain a safe and legal procedure for a woman to consider if and when she need to, and she is running for office to make sure that the next generation of Texas women have the same health care access that she had when she needed it.

“As my mom said, ‘the thing about electing women to office is we bring along the viewpoints of half the population of the United States of America.’  Ann Richards believed that people bring their experiences with them to public office.  That’s why she appointed the first African American University of Texas Regent, the first crime victim to the state criminal justice board, the first person with a disability to serve on the Human Services Board, and the first teacher to the Board of Education.  She ran for office to open up the doors of government and let the people in because she understood that we’re all better off when our government reflects the people it represents.  Wendy’s story -- not just the story of her abortion, but of her experience as a woman, and her lifelong fight for Texas families - reminds us that’s exactly why she should be the next Governor of Texas.”


Nearly 99 percent of abortions in the U.S. occur before 21 weeks’ gestation. When abortion later in pregnancy does happen, it is often in a situation where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.

Abortion bans like those supported by Greg Abbott are deeply unpopular, with polling from Hart Research Associates showing that when voters understand the real-world circumstances surrounding abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, they overwhelmingly oppose laws that would ban the procedure at that stage. A strong majority of voters — Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (78 percent), and Independents (71 percent) – say this is the wrong issue for Congress and their state legislators to be spending time on.

The poll also found that:

·    A solid 60 percent of registered voters support access to safe and legal abortion at 20 weeks in cases of severe fetal abnormalities, with only 33 percent opposing access.

·    Sixty-six percent (66%) of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman’s doctor determines that the woman would suffer serious, long-lasting health problems if she carried the pregnancy to term;

·    Sixty-one percent (61%) of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's doctor determines that the fetus is not yet viable and the woman and her family determine that her health and personal circumstances are such that she should not continue her pregnancy; and

·    Sixty-one percent (61%) of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

Last summer, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a national organization representing thousands of women’s health experts, came out against these types of abortion restrictions, reinforcing that they are dangerous to patients’ health and safety.

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Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.