Do you have the stamina to take on one of the most conservative groups of politicians in the United States? Filibuster legislation with the odds stacked against you and your voice ignored? Stay on your feet and on your guard for as long as it takes to fly from Sydney to LA? Chances are, if you're not Wendy Davis, your answer to these questions is no – but I argue that the answer is yes.
In case you missed it, reports of Davis's bold takedown of last week's foreboding Texas anti-choice legislation have been flooding in of late. Davis reportedly stood on her feet for (reportedly) 11 to 13 hours, filibustering a widely supported piece of legislation that would ban all abortions in Texas after 20 weeks and shut down nearly all of its reproductive health clinics through unneeded regulations. Davis is a hero, though Texas Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the Legislature to try again to pass the law, despite the fact that a large majority of Texas women, doctors, and hospitals are against it. Wendy Davis was brave and stood for all Texas women that night.
We may not know when, but each one of us has a chance to do something heroic like Wendy Davis, whenever we stand for what is right. Sure, it's true that not all of us are politicians or activists by trade. We might not ever see our name in a headline, or in the “trending” column on Twitter. Still, at the root of Davis's action was simple courage and the strength to fight for what is right. If pro-choice Americans convey that sense of justice, against adversaries and antipathy, on a scale relative to our positions in life, we can all have the hero status of Wendy Davis, whether or not the media catches on, whether or not our work takes place amongst family and friends or amongst a legislative body.
Kai Niezgoda, NOW Intern