Wendy Davis: On second thought, it'd be impossible to craft an appropriate ban on abortion after 20 weeks

Is it really a flip-flop if a pol’s stating her honestly held position after first lying about it? Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage was many things — cynical, duplicitous, proof that his base would rather hold power than defend their principles — but no one would call it a flip-flop, right?

Let’s call this a half-flip since her true position, like most liberals, is abortion on demand at whatever stage. That’s what this would amount to in practice, although she’s unwilling to frame it as such.

“I’ve been disappointed with how the reporting has characterized my conversation with the Dallas Morning News. What I tried to convey there was that it’s impossible for the Legislature to define artfully enough exceptions that will accommodate everyday situations that women are facing in that arena, and that it has to be left to a woman and her doctor,” Davis said Thursday.

She continued, “I would not advocate for a 20-week ban because I don’t believe that it can capture and respect and give due deference to decision-making that belongs between a woman and her doctor. And typically, of course, these abortions are occurring in tragic situations where women have not discovered that there’s a severe fetal abnormality, or that there is some risk to her own health, until her pregnancy is advanced to that stage.”

Dan McLaughlin translates:

I’m tempted to accuse her of caving to lefties who felt “betrayed” that she backtracked on late-term abortion earlier this week (some of them did stand on principle this time, probably because governing Texas is less important than governing America) but that wouldn’t be fair. Her “support” for banning abortion after 20 weeks was a sham from the word go. Go back and read what she told the Dallas Morning News. She supports a ban in theory but in practice she wants the state to defer completely to women and their doctors when they invoke the health exceptions to it. In other words, if you say you’re exempt from the law, you are. Boehner should float that idea to Obama the next time he pushes a new assault-weapons ban. Compromise: Republicans will support the ban so long as it’s completely unenforceable. Don’t laugh — that’s basically the Democratic position on border security, no?

So yeah, this is Davis being Davis but I’m sure the upset among progressives at her half-flip was noticed at campaign HQ. Don’t expect too many more cynical lurches to the right from her, no matter how much standing pat as a true-blue liberal may hurt her. Speaking of which, here she is on gay marriage. According to one poll taken last year, a plurality of Texans support the practice and a heavy majority support some sort of legal recognition of gay relationships. She’s on safer ground taking this position than she is with late-term abortion.