February 12, 2014

#WendyDavis nuances #abortion, goes a bit wishy-washy on #marijuana

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis talked to the Dallas Morning News editorial board about both of the above issues.

I actually pretty much agree with where she is on specifics of abortion, though I don't think the viability line is going to get pushed back to 20 weeks any time soon.
“My concern, even in the way the 20-week ban was written in this particular bill (that she filibustered last summer), was that it didn’t give enough deference between a woman and her doctor making this difficult decision, and instead tried to legislatively define what it was,” Davis said. ...

Davis said the U.S. Supreme Court would likely evaluate when a woman could end a pregnancy. A fetus is generally considered viable at 24 weeks, the previous abortion limit under Texas law.

“The Supreme Court sets that viability and it probably will be revisited,” Davis said. “It’s one that deserves that kind of reflection to determine whether that kind of constitutional protection should exist at a time period less than what it is right now.”

Davis said she could have supported a bill that contained only a 20-week ban, but the law’s restrictions on clinics and doctors have greatly curtailed access to the procedure in parts of Texas.
Problem is, as I noted, unless one has a highly expansive definition of "viability," then a 20-week ban in general is not good right now, even with Davis' exceptions. And, given that the SCOTUS limit was 24 weeks, this would clearly be envelope-pushing, even had the Lege met her other concerns.

That said, here's the wishy-washy on pot:
“I do believe that Governor Perry’s approach is a reasonable approach, that we as a state need to think about the cost of that incarceration and, obviously, the cost to the taxpayers as a consequence of it, and whether we’re really solving any problem for the state by virtue of incarcerations for small amounts of marijuana possession.”

She said she would back legislation to decrease criminal provisions for possession of small amounts of marijuana. As for allowing the drug for medical purposes, Davis said she would want to know how voters feel.

“I don’t know where the state is on that, as a population. Certainly as governor I think it’s important to be deferential to whether the state of Texas feels that it’s ready for that,” she said.
Let's replace marijuana with "gay marriage," or just "gay rights."

(Update, Feb. 13: Ironic because Davis now says she supports gay marriage. My blog take on that is here.)

Should we have waited for the U.S. Congress to repeal, and President Obama, to sign into law, legislation repealing DOMA? Or tell state courts in the majority of the nearly 20 states that have approved gay marriage that they should "be deferential" to their particular states?

True, medical marijuana isn't as big an issue as gay marriage, at least to many. However, it may be more important than some.

The Snooze's opinion page blog now gives Davis a kudo as going beyond Rick Perry. I'll buy that, while noting that, had Perry not said what he did at Davos, Wendy Davis probably wouldn't have gone even that far, let alone as far as she has.

Anyway, the language sounds like what she used when she came out for open carry of handguns, then said, "wait, I meant local option."

Sometimes, you ... have to take a stand.

And, based on that, I have to disagree with Kuff's post: she's "straddling" more than she's "for" medical marijuana. That's especially true if you take in context, namely the context of the abortion statement at the same time and her backpedal on open carry a week ago.

Perry goes into much more depth on the abortion part. It's a good read.

And, he ends with this zinger:
Every time she tries to clarify something, it gets muddier.
This is a campaign in complete disarray, and we've reached the point where that can no longer be blamed on the handlers and the consultants any longer.
Sounds about right.

Unfortunately, the Texas Green party continues to sit on its ass.

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