Wendy Davis shot to notoriety last year for an 11-hour filibuster — that she performed in her now-famous pink tennis shoes — in order to block abortion limits being expanded in Texas. With less than a month before Texas’ gubernatorial elections, Davis has written a new memoir where she speaks openly about two abortions that she herself had in the early ’90s, but perhaps the most shocking revelation is when Wendy recounts how her mother put Davis and her two younger siblings into the trunk of a car with plans to start the engine and allow them to suffocate to death when she was a child, Wendy told Good Morning, America.
“An angel came into our lives that day. A neighbor who had never come to our home before rang the bell. And he sat in the living room. He held my mother’s hand. He talked to her for quite a long time. And by the time he left, she was through it. And she came and collected us from the car and put one foot in front of the other and pushed on for all of us, and did a beautiful job of it.”
Such huge reveals are a risky choice with Davis coming into the election of Texas’ next governor at least 8 points behind Republican Greg Abbott, according to the latest Rasmussen poll. While Wendy has raised around $20 million — which is much more than the usual Democratic candidate in Texas manages to amass — a win still seems unlikely, according to Fox News. What has put Davis in the pages of Vogue and made her trend on Twitter is an issue — abortion — that an overwhelming majority of Texans do not support. A recent Slate article argues that such an association may have doomed her campaign from the beginning.
Now, for all the support Davis’ campaign has received from fellow Democrats in Washington and elsewhere—former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm called her “Joan of Arc, standing up there for women all across the country”—she’s still running for governor of a deeply red state. That means that the issue that made her a national star—abortion—is one she can’t really touch back at home.”
Davis’ hard-won Harvard education and career have been a talking point for her throughout her campaign, which might explain why she decided to release a book full of such controversial information with less than a month to go before the election for Texas governor is called.
“I wanted to share a book about my life, how I came to be who I am. I wanted people to feel like they’re not alone … The struggle of being a single mom. The struggle, after my parents divorced, and that I came through it. I came through it, through my faith in God. I came through it because of my education.”
Watch Wendy Davis’ campaign video below.
[Image via Getty Images]