Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis revealed she had an abortion 17 years ago in her memoir due out next week. Reuters

Wendy Davis, Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, discusses her decision to have an abortion 17 years ago in her memoir, "Forgetting to Be Afraid," reports the San Antonio Express-News. The child, who was to have been named Tate Elise, had an acute brain abnormality in Davis' second trimester.

Davis said she felt "an indescribable blackness" after her decision to end her 1996 pregnancy. "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 in her memoir. Davis and her then-husband, Jeff Davis, had the baby baptized prior to being taken away.

Davis gained national attention in 2013 with an 11-hour filibuster to defeat a Texas abortion bill. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks and required clinics to upgrade their facilities to become surgical clinics, effectively shutting down the majority of abortion clinics in the state. Most recently, a federal court threw out the surgical clinic requirement. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who will face Davis in November, plans to appeal the decision, reports the Associated Press.

In a post on Facebook, Planned Parenthood Action applauded Davis' decision to discuss her abortion, saying, "We're so grateful to Wendy Davis for sharing her deeply personal story — and we're even more proud to stand with her."

Melissa Conway, spokeswoman for Texans Right to Life, said, according to the AP, "That's an incredibly difficult position for anyone to find themselves in. While our heart goes out for the decision she had to make, again, still the value of life is precious."

Davis also had another abortion in 1994, due to an ectopic pregnancy that had serious health consequences including the rupture of her fallopian tube, reports San Antonio Express-News.

Abbott is currently favored in the race for Texas governor.