Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis had been a Democratic senator in Texas for four years, but outside of the Lone Star State few people knew her name. On the 24th of June 2013 that all changed. Not only was she transformed into a household name throughout the United States, but she also gained international acclaim. On this date Wendy stood on the Senate floor for eleven hours in an attempt to block the passing of Senate Bill 5 which would restrict women’s access to abortions in Texas. While the Bill would end up being passed the next month Wendy ensured that she would be remembered by women’s rights activists as well as those who opposed her views.

Following a teenage pregnancy and the end of her marriage at the age of 21, Wendy left Rhode Island and moved to Texas where her father was living. While living there she enrolled in Texas Christian University and gained a Bachelor’s degree in English. Following this she enrolled in Harvard Law School. While there she frequently flew back to Texas to spend time with her family at the same time as this she worked at a legal clinic for the poor helping people living with AIDS. After her graduation she clerked for a federal judge before joining a large law firm in Fort Worth, Texas.

It was while working here that she entered politics: in 1995 she was elected to the Fort Worth City Council. During this time she fought to limit natural gas development in urban areas as well as working closely with people living in low income areas. She served five terms in the City Council before being encouraged to run in the state senate elections in 2008 in which she was successful. Since her election she has fought to preserve funding for education, to ensure pay equality for everyone regardless of gender and most notably abortion rights for women.

Democratic senators decided to filibuster the Bill and due to her expertise on women’s health issues and the fact that she had excellent stamina due to years of running, Wendy was chosen. Wendy did manage to prevent the Bill being passed that night; however it was passed the following month by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Later that year she chose to run in the gubernatorial elections, the first woman in twenty years to contest the election (since Ann Richards served as Governor), Wendy was defeated by twenty points. Since then she has focused her efforts on encouraging young people to not only to learn about politics but to actively participate in some capacity.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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