Five questions the media should have asked Wendy Davis


By now you’ve heard of Wendy Davis, the Texas State Senator who, with the help of a rapacious viewing gallery, filibustered a vote on a bill that would have made it illegal for women to abort babies past 20 weeks of their pregnancy.

For her anti-life efforts, the national press corps threw Senator Davis the media equivalent of a ticker-tape parade.

Over at his blog for the New York Times, columnist Ross Douthat, who has written about abortion on multiple occasions, pointed out the media’s hypocritical behavior, especially ABC’s  show This Week. Before getting into Douthat’s reaction, let’s look at the six, utterly absurd questions posed to Senator Davis by that program:

Wendy Davis

1) Why did you decide to wear your running shoes? Let’s take a look at those … they’ve kind of been rocketing around the internet.

2) As the filibuster was going on, you were receiving support from a lot of people and places far away from Texas, from movie stars and the president …

3) The front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is featuring the back and forth with Governor Perry and you. He has made this very personal against you. Is that offensive?

4) Do you believe SB5 will become law?

5) Will you have to filibuster again?

6) You gonna put these shoes on again?

Before noting the obsequious, non-confrontational, non-substantive nature of these inquisitions, Douthat explains the politics behind the Texas legislature’s decision to vote on the bill in the first place:

The pro-life movement has been pushing legislation along the lines of the bill that Davis filibustered for some time, but the sudden energy behind SB5 in Texas…has a great deal to do with the recent trial of Kermit Gosnell, and the spotlight that case put on late-term abortion nationwide.

In Texas and in Washington…opponents [of abortion]have basically tried to do what gun control advocates did after Newtown, and use a horror story to make the case for policies that have clear majority support but also face passionate opposition.

Douthat goes on to say how the press has blinders on when it comes to covering abortion:

It seems like a genuinely fair-minded… press would at least tend to mention the link between the Gosnell case and the Texas bill as often as it mentions Wendy Davis’s footwear.

But given that the national media had to be basically shamed into covering the Gosnell case in the first place, it isn’t surprising that we’re getting running shoes instead.

Douthat, per usual, is spot on. But he’s not the only one who noticed the media’s blatant double standard.

On CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz, not known for being a conservative, rhetorically asked: “if Wendy Davis had been conducting a lonely filibuster against abortion rights, would the media have celebrated her in quite the same way?”

The answer, Kurtz points out, is an obvious “no.”

Not all women stand with Senator Davis either, as the press would like you to believe.

Kirsten Powers, a columnist with long-running ties to the Democratic Party, penned a column today wherein she expresses her vehement disagreement with Davis.

“One can assume,” Powers suggests, that “I am also not the only woman in America who is really tiring of the Wendys of the world claiming to represent ‘women’s rights’ in their quest to mainstream a medical procedure—elective late-term abortion—that most of the civilized world finds barbaric and abhorrent.”

unborn child

Powers adds that “maybe we should wonder what is wrong with the women who think protecting the right to abort your baby for any reason up to the 26th week is a ‘human right.’”

Noticing how Davis seems to be ignoring what studies confirm to be true, Townhall editor Katie Pavlich tweeted George Stephanopolous, the host of ABC’s This Week, the following request: “when you ask Davis if her feet hurt during her 13-hour stand will you also talk about how 20 week old babies feel pain?”

That question was never asked. Nor did any of the 20 questions Senator Davis was asked by CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS have anything to do with the actual substance of the bill she was filibustering.

Oddly enough, the press also failed to report on the undemocratic methods used by the pro-abortion activists in the viewing gallery. Their lawless, Alinsky-inspired tactics successfully delayed the vote on SB5 until after the 12:00am deadline.

The press clearly wants to make this story less about abortion and more about Wendy Davis. That’s too bad. We’re not going to let that happen. In fact, if the press had any backbone whatsoever, they would have asked Ms. Davis at least one of the following five questions:

1) Nancy Pelosi considers late-term abortion “sacred ground.” But most Americans, including women, favor banning abortions after 20 weeks. And sixty percent of Texans support this specific bill. By doing this filibuster, aren’t you lumping yourself in with someone whose opinion the majority of Americans find morally detestable?

2) If you don’t believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins and at what point does an unborn child acquire human rights?

3) Among other things, this bill sought to prevent abortion after 20 weeks. Studies show that at 20 weeks unborn children can feel pain. Why does science, as well as the pain unborn children go through during an abortion, not seem to matter to you?

4) The abortion rate among African Americans and Latinos far exceeds that of White Americans. Most of Kermit Gosnell’s victims were young black women. How do you respond to the fact that abortion is not only a racist practice but a sexist one as well, as evidence shows more unborn girls are aborted than unborn boys?

5) Studies reveal that women who elect to have an abortion are very likely going to have physical as well as psychological problems. What are you, your caucus and the pro-choice movement doing to make sure women who want to have an abortion are fully informed about the dangers associated with their choice and, if they chose to have an abortion, that they have the necessary resources to get help later on?

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

Leave A Reply