Why we should we expect a question on abortion in tonight’s Democrat debate

By Dave Andrusko

To take just two examples, Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review Online and Gabriel Hays of Newsbusters both commented on the complete absence of any questions about abortion at last night’s first night of the second round of debates among 20 Democrats running for President.

Hays correctly pointed out that Planned Parenthood had a hissy fit. Its political arm tweeted up a storm, including

In nearly 3 hours, there was not one question on abortion access or reproductive health care—despite the fact that the Trump administration is actively trying to dismantle our nation’s program for affordable birth control with a gag rule.

The headline for DeSanctis’s post was, “Why Won’t Moderators Ask Democrats about Abortion?” She wrote “a repeat performance is almost guaranteed” tonight when the second set of ten pro-abortion Democrats debate in Detroit.

I’m not so sure, in fact, I’d wager otherwise. But first a very important point DeSanctis makes early in her post:

And it’s not just during debates. Mainstream reporters rarely, if ever, ask Democrats to detail their views on abortion — and when they do, the questions are usually couched in the euphemisms preferred by those who favor expansive abortion rights. Last month, the New York Times sat down with 21 Democratic primary candidates and asked each of them the same 18 questions, about gun control, and health care, and foreign policy. The Times even managed to inquire about candidates’ favorite comfort foods, how much sleep they get, and what they do to relax. But there apparently wasn’t room for a single question about abortion policy.

Her very elegantly made point is one we’ve also made a hundred times. Democrats are so drenched in abortion absolutism that their enablers and cohorts in the major media are (quite properly) afraid if the truth gets out, it’s lights outs.

But unlike the triathlon reporters make pro-life Republican politicians run on abortion, I would strongly suspect the CNN panel will actually ask the 10 Democrats to take a leisurely stroll on abortion-related questions.

Why?

For one thing, they know at least some of the candidates are highly likely to bring abortion up on their own. There could easily be a group maul of former vice president Joe Biden (a) for having slightly deviated over the years from the party line on abortion (he once supported the Hyde Amendment), and (b) for “flip-flopping” on said Hyde Amendment which has cut off almost all federal funding of elective abortions.

For another thing—since the real agenda of the CNN panel is to stomp on pro-life President Donald Trump—the panelist will take the opportunity to frame the question[s] so as to keep the focus on Trump, not on the Democrats’ own miniscule differences which (since Biden saw the light and now opposes the Hyde Amendment) have been reduced to less than quibbles.

On a related note, the panel was crushed for the way it conducted the debate. I’m sure there will be a response which will show up tonight.

In a word, tonight’s debate will be well worth watching.