WOMEN
09/10/2014 03:46 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Why Wendy Davis Didn't Speak About Her Abortions Earlier

Wendy Davis became a nationally recognized champion of women's rights when she spoke for 11 hours straight on the Texas Senate floor against an anti-abortion bill.

More than a year after Davis' epic filibuster, her motivation for refusing to sit down until women's stories were heard is even clearer. In her new memoir Forgetting To Be Afraid, Davis writes that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons in the 1990s.

Davis told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkvoski on Tuesday that she was nearly moved to tell her own story during her 11-hour stint on the Senate floor.

"I didn't go into it thinking that I would talk about [the abortions], but as I read a story from the many letters that I read on the Senate floor that day, there was one that could have been my story," Davis said. "It struck me so deeply, and I had an emotional response that I wasn't expecting. And for a moment I considered whether I should share mine in the moment as well."

Davis ultimately waited to share, because she didn't want her personal story to eclipse her representation of all women who have faced a similar decision.

"I didn't want the day to be about me, and I was afraid it would become about me if I did that," she said. "I wanted to do what I was doing -- be a voice for thousands of people who would be impacted by that bill and to give voice to folks who had been turned away from committee hearings, who had been told that their stories had become repetitive."

Indeed, not all women have the support to speak openly about abortion, nor should Davis or any other woman be obligated to share private health information. But Davis' story, and her willingness to tell it, is a very public reminder of how important it is for women to make these decisions for themselves -- and to have access to whichever choice they make.

"I have always held the perspective that I have now. I have always believed that this is a decision uniquely for women and their family. It's not one that government ought to intrude upon."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Wendy Davis here.

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Wendy Davis Speaks For 11 hours On The Abortion Bill
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