When Wendy Davis stood up for the right to kill preborn babies in the final trimester of pregnancy by filibustering a Texas bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, an obscure Texas state senator became a national hero to the pro-abortion crowd and became a national sensation. The Columbus Dispatch reported that, “The bill eventually passed, but Davis’ newfound popularity continued, and she gained $1 million in campaign contributions.” It was just a matter of time until she would announce she was running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and thus guaranteeing that the 2014 governor’s race would be largely about abortion. 

She became a celebrity and got the full Vogue glamour treatment. But when you think about it, her cause is not that glamorous. NARAL’s branding of “Stand with Wendy” focuses on her shoes rather than the ideological extremism that makes Wendy Davis the champion of NARAL’s pet cause. Erick Erickson took to calling Davis Abortion Barbie because the media focused on her fashion rather than the position for which she was fighting, because red sneakers are much more media friendly than late-term abortions. As The Interim editorialized:

Davis’s unpalatable positions have put her media apologists in an awkward double-bind: as much as they want to praise Davis, and promote the barbaric policies she advocates, they cannot speak clearly about her aims. To do so would be self-defeating: a fair description of the late-term abortion procedures she would keep legal would not win her any friends. And so the media prefers to describe Davis’s instead of the abortionists’ curettages that she fights so ardently to keep in use.

It is paradoxically possible that the 2014 Texas governor election will be about abortion and yet at the same time abortion will hardly be discussed in any detail. To do so would force Davis to defend not just the indefensible but the unpopular. Across America, which includes liberal New York and California, women oppose late-term abortions by a 60-25 margin. So do not expect a lot of debate about abortion when the cause’s most famous defender is running for governor of the second-largest state, but do expect insightful pieces on what Wendy Davis is wearing on the campaign trail.