FORT WORTH, TX, January 20, 2014 ( – Pro-abortion Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ tale of journeying from poor single motherhood to the halls of power has been crucial to her media persona. But as her gubernatorial candidacy ramps up, so has media examination of her background.

According to the Dallas Morning News, “Davis acknowledged some chronological errors and incomplete details in what she and her aides have said about her life.”

Davis, who came to state and national fame in 2013 because of a filibuster in favor of late-term abortions, told the newspaper that her “language should be tighter” after details came to light about her past that directly contradict what she has told media and her supporters.


Some of those details are relatively minor – Davis testified as part of proceedings in a federal lawsuit that she was 19 when she got her first divorce. She was 21. While she did live in the trailer she claims, she also moved into an apartment a few months later with her young daughter.

Other omissions are more significant. On her website, Davis talks about how she “became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduated first in her class, and went on to Harvard Law School.” Her site says she “graduat[ed] with honors from Harvard Law.”

However, the Dallas Morning News found that she only made it through Harvard Law because her second husband, Jeff Davis, “cashed in his 401(k) account and … took out a loan to pay for her final year there.” Jeff Davis also said “it was ironic” that the day after the last payment was made on Wendy Davis' Harvard loans in 2003, “she left.”

Wendy Davis defends herself as “a vibrant part of contributing to our family finances” as an attorney. However, Jeff Davis says after the divorce she decided he should take on the responsibility of raising their children. “It's not a good time for me right now,” she reportedly said. He also cited adultery in his divorce filings, though the Dallas Morning News says the final report from the court makes no mention of adulterous behavior. Wendy Davis paid $1,200 per month in child support after the couple split up.

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According to a supporter of Wendy Davis' gubernatorial campaign, speaking anonymously to the Dallas Morning News, the candidate “is tremendously ambitious.” The supporter said the state senator “[is] not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.” He also described her as finding “a way to spin herself in a way that grabs at the heart strings. A lot of it isn't true about her.”

Davis became a national figure for her filibuster against a ban on late-term abortions in Texas that, with the help of unruly supporters, led to the Texas Senate being unable to pass the ban before the end of the special session. The legislation passed shortly thereafter when Governor Rick Perry called the legislature into a second special session.

However, in November 2013, Davis described herself as “pro-life” because “we can agree we care about life, and we can agree that we want the same goal, which is zero abortions to occur in the state of Texas.” She also told a CBS affiliate, “To be pro-life doesn’t necessarily end with a woman’s pregnancy, and in Texas, the point I was making was we need to think of life at all stages. We need to think about children born in this state who deserve a good education and who deserve to be part of a higher education system.”

According to Texas Right to Life spokesperson Melissa Conway, “it is not surprising that Davis' recollection of the facts and details are inconsistent.” She told, “A growing trend of inconsistencies appears to be the norm.”

“Davis attempted to broadcast she was 'pro-life' early in the campaign, despite the fact that she championed the right to inflict a painful dismemberment and death on preborn Texas babies,” said Conway.

Davis' inconsistencies haven't hurt her campaign's fundraising. While she trails Republican Greg Abbott, The Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney notes that she raised $3.8 million in the last half of 2013. According to Carney's calculations, Davis has raised 28 percent of her money from out of state, and a quarter of that money – seven percent of her campaign's total – comes from pro-abortion organizations. Carney names EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL, and says her “biggest out-of-state contributions [are] from pro-choice groups.”