The media could not get enough of Wendy Davis. The Texas state senator who filibustered a bill restricting abortion was described by CNN as a “national phenomenon.”
Davis was also celebrated on social media, with President Barack Obama’s official Twitter account leading the charge: “Something special is happening in Austin tonight.”
We learned about Davis’ running shoes and back brace. We learned about her undeniably compelling journey from teen mother to Harvard Law graduate. We learned about her stamina and bladder control.
But what we heard rather less about was the fact that Davis was blocking an abortion bill less restrictive than the law in many European countries, among other things banning the procedure from being performed on fetuses after 20 weeks.
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack did a helpful rundown of the questions Davis was asked during her whirlwind media tour. Very few of them had anything to do with the substance of the policy she was protesting.
“How are you even awake today?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked. “What was it like standing for that long?”
“Why did you decide to wear your running shoes?” asked ABC’s Jeff Zeleny in his penetrating interview. “Let’s take a look at those … they’ve kind of been rocketing around the Internet.”
Nobody asked Davis the obvious question McCormack himself once posed to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: What’s the difference between abortions this late in the pregnancy and the crimes for which the disgraced Kermit Gosnell faces life in prison?
Pelosi, for the record, had no good answer.
At least some of Davis’ Sunday talk show interlocutors had the integrity to point about that the bill she was blocking wasn’t that extreme, according to public opinion.
In fact, a new Huffington Post poll found Americans supported a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks, by a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent. More strikingly, 70 percent of those who were conflicted about abortion generally said they would support such a law.
A somewhat more argumentatively worded National Journal poll found that women backed this late-term abortion ban by a bigger plurality than men.