She is best known as the Democrat who stood for 13 hours filibustering a bill that would place new restrictions on abortion clinics and ban abortions after 20 weeks. She stood long enough to kill the bill during the first session.
But, she is so much more than that one incredible act. She has been fighting for change for years. She gives me hope that even in a conservative state like Texas, there are people fighting for gender equality one bill at a time.
Here are my favorite Wendy Davis quotes that will have you feeling empowered, inspired and ready to make a change:
When asked what she would say directly to Governor Rick Perry:
Governor Perry … let's stop demonizing women who face very difficult choices in their life. Let's make sure that we don't close down 37 of the 42 clinics in Texas and leave women with nowhere to go and put them in a situation where their health will be at risk. I would say to him, that I had the privilege of making a choice about the path I chose for my life. I'm so proud of my daughters, but I could never for a moment put myself in the shoes of another woman confronting a difficult personal choice, and it really isn't for him to make statements like that.
During her filibuster:
Lawmakers, either get out of the vagina business, or go to medical school.
On being a badass:
You won't change things unless you are prepared to fight, even if you don't win. But I do hate losing.
After the filibuster, in an article she wrote for CNN:
Real Texans don't want any woman to die of cancer because she can't get decent healthcare or medical advice.
On being an inspiration:
I hope telling the story of how I went from being a single mom to serving in the Texas State Senate to running for governor will remind others that with the right leadership in government where you start has nothing to do with how far you go.
On why she filibustered, in an op-ed for The Washington Post:
I stood up to filibuster the bill because Texas Republican leaders would rather pursue a partisan agenda than help Texas women. I stood to oppose the bill because it rolled back constitutional rights and would reduce the number of women's health clinics from 42 to 5, thereby threatening the health and safety of thousands of Texas women.
On abortion, while running for governor and speaking at the University of Texas at Brownsville:
When I believe women's health is in danger, I'm going to stand and fight to protect that. This isn't about protecting abortion. It's about protecting women. It's about trusting women to make good decisions for themselves and empowering them with the tools to do that.
On having an undesired abortion, from her memoir, “Forgetting to Be Afraid”:
An undesirable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief, a heavy wave that crushed me and made me wonder if I would ever surface. It would take me the better part of a year to ultimately make my way up and out of it. And when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.
I've found that the things worth fighting for are always the hardest [...] There is meaning in each of these fights, in speaking truth to power and giving voice to unpopular causes. [T]here is value in fighting for something important to you, even when the outcome is not what you hoped it would be. So my advice to you: if you fail, fail big! Fail with flair! Fail trying to do something real, something hard.