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Wendy Davis: Texas anti-abortion bill 'inhumane'

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis skyrocketed to national stardom two weeks ago after her 11-hour filibuster stopped a restrictive abortion bill in the state.
Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (Photo by Eric Gay/AP)
Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis skyrocketed to national stardom two weeks ago after her 11-hour filibuster stopped a restrictive abortion bill in the state.

But amid protests from the gallery, the Republican-controlled statehouse approved the measure Wednesday by a 96-42 vote. The state senate is expected to vote on the bill as early as Friday.

"Filibustering the bill [at this point in the special session] would require a superhuman feat that none of us is capable of, unfortunately," Davis told msnbc's Andrea Mitchell Wednesday. It faces near-certain passage in the senate.

Davis said the real intent of the bill, which requires clinics to have ambulatory surgical facilities, is to close 37 of the 42 clinics in the state.

"We are a huge state. And the fact of the matter is that these clinics will not be able to afford to adhere to a surgical center standard requirement," Davis told Mitchell. "And even those that will ultimately raise the money to do it will likely take a very long time in order for the new facility standards to be met."

"So we know it's going to have a very devastating outcome, particularly on women in our rural communities who don't have the resources or the ability to travel."

Davis cited a 2011 Republican-led effort to cut funding for family planning services across the state.

"It really highlights the irony, the hypocrisy of what it is that Republicans are up to here. If what we truly care about is decreasing the abortion rate in the state of Texas, and I believe that uniformly, people believe that that's a goal we should all strive toward, to take away family planning services and to ensure that women without resources who live in these remote areas of Texas are going to see higher rates of unplanned pregnancies, will only do nothing but create a higher Medicare birth rate," Davis said.

"It's an inhumane thing to do, to force women into a situation where they literally have no control over their own bodies, over their destinies," Davis said. "It's big government at its worst."

During Davis's June 27 filibuster, Texas Governor Rick Perry criticized her position by invoking her own teen pregnancy.

"She was a teenaged mother herself.  She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate.  It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example, that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters," the governor said.

Davis responded on Andrea Mitchell Reports by calling Perry's comment "an unfortunate statement" that "demeaned the high office that he holds."

"It didn't upset me for me, but it upset me to see the callous attitude that he had toward women who face these very, very tough choices, and women like me, who were very young, perhaps, when they experienced this--this challenge."

"Not every woman has the opportunities in front of her that I had. And I think for him to say that really showed a callous disregard and a complete lack of understanding for the challenges that women face, particularly if they cannot access family planning services and prevent an unplanned pregnancy in the first place."

Asked if she is considering succeeding Perry when his term ends in 2014, Davis told Mitchell, "There's talk about that and, of course, I am looking down the road at whether that's the right thing for me to do, whether it's the right time for the state." Perry said Monday that he will not seek re-election, sparking rumors of a possible second run for the presidency in 2016.

Watch Andrea Mitchell's interview with Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis below: