07.19.132:00 PM ET

Quotes Roundup: Huggers and Haters

This week, everyone was on the defensive—including U.S. politicians and even a Taliban member.

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis expressed some serious wrath toward Gov. Rick Perry, who signed the Texas abortion restrictions on Thursday. The bill, which goes into effect in October, bans abortions after 20 weeks, based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain, and requires abortions to be done at surgical centers. Only five abortion clinics meet the new requirements. In a released statement, Davis said, “Governor Perry and other state leaders have now taken sides and chosen narrow partisan special interests over mothers, daughters, sisters and every Texan who puts the health of their family, the well-being of their neighbors, and the future of Texas ahead of politics and personal ambitions.”

In San Diego, which Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy taught us is the classiest of all cities, Mayor Bob Filner was accused of sexual harassment. Filner vehemently denied the claims to San Diego television station KUSI. He refused to resign from office despite calls for him to step down. One woman, a volunteer for Filner’s campaign, alleges that he jammed “his tongue down her throat” and later put “his hand on the inside of her bra.” Even the mayor’s ex-fiancée accuses him of sending women sexually explicit text messages. The mayor has since apologized, but will still headline an event for sexual-assault victims.

A senior member of the Pakistani Taliban, Adnan Rasheed, wrote an open letter to Malala Yousafzai after she gave a rousing speech for global education rights at the United Nations on July 12. In the rambling letter, Rasheed said that he wishes he could have advised Malala before she was shot by the Taliban. But Rasheed also scolds Malala for being unaware that education was historically of great importance in the Middle East and advises her to “come back home.” He even brings up British philosopher Bertrand Russell and Henry Kissinger’s “sterilization” programs.

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is back in the game—of politics, that is. Spitzer, who was revealed in 2008 as a patron of a high-priced prostitution service, recently announced his bid for New York City comptroller. In an appearance on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, he was asked, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” to which he promptly responded, “Yes ... I’ve been forthright and direct. I resigned five years ago and done a great deal between now and then ... The record I had was one of devout dedication to women’s rights, on the issues of choice and the issues of equal pay or issues of anti-discrimination, both as attorney general where we were fervent in pursuing those cases; [and] where we were fervent in governing and legislation.” He obviously loves the ladies.