So why was abortion so conspicuously absent from Democratic debate?

By Dave Andrusko

demcandidates78reThe day after an event and especially the day after the day always makes for great reading. The initial overview, often necessarily one-dimensional, gets enlarged and items overlooked get their time.

We talked Wednesday about “Five Takeaways” from the first Democratic presidential debate in which the four men bowed deferentially to their fellow pro-abortionist, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was less that Clinton shined than it was that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee simply bumbled their way through.

And if you read today’s news accounts, some of them make the obvious point: Clinton, while smiling and verbal, left a trail of whoppers that her Republican opponents, unlike the four on stage Tuesday, will not allow to go unanswered.

We talked about how CNN moderator Anderson Cooper chose not to bring up abortion. It was left to Clinton to transition from a different question to hammer Republicans and defend Planned Parenthood. (By the way, were you as creeped out as I was when Clinton responded to the question who was the enemy she was proudest to have made by saying “the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians, probably the Republicans”?)

Pro-abortionists, such as Lauren Barbato, were polite–after all the Democrats are their party and Clinton is their candidate—but unhappy. “[R]eproductive rights were sorely missing from the Democratic debate Tuesday even though the Democrats have lauded themselves as the party for women.”

She compared all the attention Republicans paid at their debate to Planned Parenthood and the wretched behavior and language exposed on the undercover videos (obviously my characterization, not hers) and lamented the “missed opportunity to sort through all the misinformation.”

But even if Cooper steered away from abortion, why didn’t multiple Democrats make an opportunity to tout their support early and often for abortion and PPFA? (Besides Clinton, only Chafee made even a passing reference.]

The Washington Post’s Janell Ross has a couple of answers for why the word ‘abortion’ never surfaced. “The candidates had been warned.” About what?

“[I]t’s almost certain that each of the candidates have seen the polling data on abortion. At the very least, they probably understand that even the possibility that any organization sells the tissue of aborted fetuses (something that has not been proven and which Planned Parenthood denies) is an eyebrow-raiser, a stomach-churner and a legitimate and difficult-to-ignore ethical concern. And much of that is true even for those who ardently support abortion rights. … It’s very likely that each candidate received some kind of advice to stay away from these issues as much as possible.”

Wow! In the Washington Post, no less. Ross continued

Polling suggests most voters don’t support something as big as shutting down the government over funding Planned Parenthood. But how the public feels about abortion keeps shifting.

That was accompanied by a graph which, while not completely accurate, certainly conveyed the truth that a majority of the public either wants no abortion or abortions only in limited circumstances. Which is why, as Barbato shrewdly noted, Clinton tied paid family leave, a much less divisive subject, to support for abortion.

Finally, as Thomas D. Williams observed

The ever-alert Media Research Center took the trouble of adding up the time devoted to Planned Parenthood and abortion in CNN’s Republican primary debate on September 16. According to the media watchdog group, between Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, CNN spent a total of 10 minutes and 14 seconds questioning the candidates about the topic.

That was 10 minutes and 14 seconds more than the time allotted to Planned Parenthood Tuesday night, despite the fact that the organization was all over the news because of Cecile Richards’ promise that Planned Parenthood would no longer accept payment for fetal body parts.

CNN’s hosts studiously dodged the topic until Hillary Clinton brought it up, railing against Republicans’ hypocrisy over big government.

We will be told six days a week and twice on Sunday that abortion is a winning issue for Democrats. The truth is it is a big loser which they attempt to camouflage by bundling it with more popular programs.