LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A newly-elected state senator sticks to her pro-life stance after she found out her unborn daughter would have Down syndrome.
Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, may be the first lawmaker to give birth while serving in the Arkansas legislature, but she is among many who support her decision.
“Good job!,” Davis said, as she kicked around a soccer ball at nine months pregnant with her two oldest children, Riley and Darby. “Show me your moves!”
Davis has always had one goal in mind: public service.
Her political prospects grew as her family did, from running for the school board as a mother of one to filing to run for the Arkansas Senate and days later, finding out she was pregnant with her fourth child.
“It was a lot at once,” Davis said. “We laughed about it. We kind of do life in full force so it was kind of natural for us.”
Her pro-life stance also comes natural for her.
Amid the campaign chaos, Davis discovered her daughter would have Down syndrome.
She had a lot of questions but was also asked one, “Do you have plans to terminate?”
“We knew that we were pro-life and wanted to keep this baby no matter what,” Davis said. “We love her already, but it was strange to be asked that and have to answer.”
Davis’ Republican colleagues tweeted their support after a pro-life website shared her story.
So proud to have @BreanneDavis joining the @ArkansasSenate . She showed such class and strength in a brutal campaign. She’s gonna do great things for AR. #arleg #arpx https://t.co/azOReyVyFr— Jim Hendren (@JimHendren1) July 19, 2018
“For me, it was important to talk about it now before she’s here so that her birth can be about her,” Davis said.
Now the senator of District 16, Davis wants her story to help her community.
“I’m an elected official so it’s important for me to be able to communicate to my constituents that this doesn’t change anything about the way I work and how hard I work for the district,” she said. “But it’s just another layer, and I hope my family can advocate for others.”
Her daughter, Everly, arrives in two short weeks, but while playing together on the indoor soccer field, Davis can already picture her out-scoring her siblings.
“I teased with him [Riley] that our daughter may get a gold medal in the Special Olympics before he gets a gold medal,” she said.
The Arkansas legislature and others across the country are following Davis’ lead, considering outlawing abortions due to Down syndrome.
One of her colleagues, Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, announced earlier this year he is working on legislation that would make it illegal for parents to abort their baby due to the diagnosis and other genetic and medical conditions.
The legislature can consider it during the 2019 session, which starts in January.