Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), a leading gubernatorial candidate, made a campaign stop in Brownsville, Texas, and offered voters her take on reproductive rights. As Wayne Slater reported, Davis doesn’t see her support for abortion rights as incompatible with her concern for life.
“I am pro-life,” she said, borrowing a phrase from anti-abortion activists. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”
This hasn’t gone over well on the right. Breitbart’s report called Davis’ perspective “astonishing,” while Hot Air described the Texan’s argument as “ludicrous.”
But it doesn’t have to be. Political phrases are chosen for their rhetorical and persuasive value, and we’ve come to think of “pro-life” as a shorthand for those who support laws to prevent women from terminating unwanted pregnancies.
There’s no reason, however, the politically charged phrase can’t be expanded to be more inclusive – including concern for babies after they’re born. Wendy Davis has an uphill fight ahead of her, but she’s already confronting hot-button issues in creative ways.