In her new memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid, Texas Senator Wendy Davis discloses a deeply personal story about having to terminate a pregnancy 17 years ago, before she became the most prominent face in the fight against tighter abortion restrictions in her home state. Davis writes that she and her husband made the decision to have the abortion after learning that the fetus, which would have been female, had an acute brain abnormality that caused it to “tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her” in the womb. The condition made the fetus likely incompatible with life so a doctor “quieted” its heart and it was removed by Caesarean section, the memoir says. Davis and her husband cried, took pictures, and had the fetus, named Tate Elise, baptized before it was taken away. “An indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief, a heavy wave that crushed me, that made me wonder if I would ever surface. ... And when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed,” Davis wrote.
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