The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 8, 2013

Marta Mossburg, columnist: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Wendy Davis

— Wendy Davis is no Kim Kardashian. She is famous for something: standing up for a woman’s right to kill an unborn baby up to 24 weeks old at substandard medical clinics.

For this the Democrat from Fort Worth who last week filibustered a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the Texas Senate is the hero of our times. Make that the “superhero” of our times according to Katha Pollitt at The Nation.

Who could disagree? “Davis remained standing, unable to take a bathroom break, eat, drink, sit or even lean against a desk,” as Ms. Pollitt wrote. “She was polite and patient and calm and gracious, as Republican men condescended and patronized her, and said a lot of ridiculous things that showed they knew very little about women’s bodies or lives.”

Forget her cause, the physical courage Davis displayed is astounding. Standing for hours! Being calm and gracious! Who does those sorts of things anymore? Not migrant workers or waitresses or garment factory workers in India.

Returning to the issue, her selection for deification not just by Ms. Pollitt but by fawning media around the country who focused more on the pink running shoes she wore during her 11-hour soliloquy to infanticide than the content of her speech speaks to the perversity of U.S. culture.

In a country where it is possible to prevent pregnancy by innumerable means and take a pill to stop it in the days following sex, abortion shouldn’t be necessary.

Seriously, since the Obama administration last month dropped age restrictions on the morning after pill, allowing girls and women to buy it without a prescription, what excuse is left for those who don’t act to end a pregnancy immediately?

Yet abortion is the cause célèbre of activists otherwise bereft of real cases of oppression to battle.

Worse, they refuse to see a difference between a clump of cells and a fully formed baby who kicks and feels pain and could live outside the womb if allowed, condemning those who point this out as woman haters.

One of those people is the hero celebrated in Democratic circles.

Excuse me, superhero, being pushed to run for Texas governor based on her inspired fashion sense and moral righteousness.

I get sick to my stomach thinking that she will be celebrated by young girls. Especially because there are plenty of women whose courage and character deserve widespread acclaim.

Here is one: Irena Sendler.  Sendler, a Catholic who died in 2008 at 98, helped to smuggle about 2,500 Jewish children out of their Warsaw ghetto during World War II.

The social worker took children out any way that she could.

She hid them in coffins, under floor boards in trucks going in and out of the ghetto, and in potato sacks.

She and her fellow workers also ferried them through underground passages.

They gave each child a new identity, but kept a list of their real names and addresses, which they buried in jars. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1943, she was tortured by the Nazis but refused to give up the names of her comrades or the location of the names of the children they rescued.

The Nazis sentenced her to death but she was saved prior to execution.

She lived the rest of the war in hiding but still worked to help children.

She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won that year.

After her country belatedly honored her work in 2007, she wrote in a letter to the Polish Senate, “Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory.”

Contrast that to how  Davis sees her new found fame.

When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked her last week if she had plans to run against Republican Gov. Rick Perry, she said, “You know, I would be lying if I told you that I hadn’t had aspirations to run for a statewide office.”

Wendy Davis is no Irena Sendler. But Wendy Davis is our superhero. God bless America!

Marta H. Mossburg writes frequently about national affairs and about Maryland, where she lives. Write her at marta@martamossburg.com. Follow her on Twitter at @mmossburg.

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