Wendy Davis Fires Back at Perry, Says Single Mom Dig "Without Dignity"

Perry: "Unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example"

By Greg Janda
|  Friday, Jun 28, 2013  |  Updated 7:56 AM PDT
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Texas State Senator Wendy Davis talks about Gov. Perry's comments, the famed pink sneakers, and her political future.

NBC 5

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis talks about Gov. Perry's comments, the famed pink sneakers, and her political future.

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Perry and Davis Clash in Texas Abortion Debate

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday admonished the star of a Democratic filibuster that helped kill new Texas abortion restrictions, saying state Sen. Wendy Davis' rise from a tough upbringing to Harvard Law graduate should have taught her the value of each human life.

Gov. Perry Focuses on Abortion

Governor Rick Perry has invoked the name of Democratic filibuster star Wendy Davis as a rallying cry for tougher abortion limits in Texas while addressing the opening session of the 2013 National Right to Life Convention in Grapevine.
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Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis fired back Thursday afternoon at Gov. Rick Perry, after he took aim at her past a single teen mom and her marathon 11-hour filibuster to block new abortion restrictions.

"Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values.  Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test," Davis said in a statement released to the media.

Gov. Perry, in a speech at the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas, had taken aim at the woman behind the "mob tactic" that blocked the passage of Senate Bill 5's new abortion restrictions.

"What we witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the democratic process," Perry said, before aiming squarely at Davis.

"Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?" Perry asked the crowd.

"In fact, even the woman who filibustered in the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances as the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given the chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."

(Watch Perry's statement on Davis in the video to the right, or see his entire speech in the video at the top of the page. Those on mobile devices will need to access the full site to see all video.)

When questioned by a reporter, Perry continued to question Davis' history as the daughter of a single mother.

"I'm proud that she has been able to take advantage of her intellect and her hard work, but she didn't come from particularly good circumstances. What if her mom had said, 'I just can't do this?'" Perry responded. "At that point in time, it becomes very personal."

Perry has called a second special legislative session beginning July 1 to work on bills covering abortions, transportation, and juvenile setencing.

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