Pro-choice Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is heroic, the anti-abortion group Online for Life says, but not for opposing a ban on aborting fetuses older than 20 weeks. Rather, the group is thanking Davis for choosing to have her child as a 19-year-old single mom.
"Wendy's life serves as an example to women across the country facing an unplanned pregnancy and the possibility of single motherhood," the group wrote on a new website, thankwendy.com. "Through her story we are reminded that, even in times of uncertainty and challenge, women can raise children and be wonderful examples of success."
Online for Life noted that Davis was herself raised by a single mother, and despite her personal experience, she chose to have her baby as a teen, "working hard to provide for [the] child, attend college and eventually graduate Harvard Law School."
Visitors to the website can sign a letter to Davis thanking her for "demonstrating true courage and strength."
"Your actions thirty years ago remind us that courage, hard work, and grace can overcome challenges, for both mother and child," the letter adds.
"Sen. Davis truly is the wonderful reason why women should choose life," Brian Fisher, OFL co-founder and president, said in a press release. "She is a role model for women who are facing unplanned pregnancies and possible single motherhood. Her story reminds us that, even in times of uncertainty and challenge, women can raise children and be powerful examples of success."
Davis became a household name after filibustering the 20-month abortion ban for 11 hours last month in the Texas Senate. Her filibuster killed the bill in the special session, but Governor Rick Perry called a second special session in which the bill is likely to pass.
While Davis' filibuster has been treated as a heroic act by much of the media, polling shows little support for legal abortions after the first trimester, which ends at 13 weeks. Sixty-four percent of Americans do not think abortion should be legal after 13 weeks, and 80 percent believe it should not be legal after 29 weeks, according to a 2012 Gallup poll. Even a slight majority, 52 percent, who describe themselves as "pro-choice" on abortion answered that abortion should be illegal in the second trimester, according to a 2011 Gallup poll.
The 20-week abortion ban, which was also passed by the U.S. House, is sometimes called a "fetal pain" law because that is the point at which the fetus can feel pain.
Fisher explained that the "Thank Wendy" website is not meant to be flippant, but to discuss protecting life without the harsh rhetoric so often associated with the abortion debate.
"While there is often a lot of emotion and harsh words exchanged between those who seek to protect unborn life and those who support abortion, this is our opportunity to genuinely thank Sen. Davis for facing the challenge of single motherhood by choosing life for her child," he said.