What difference on the abortion issue will it make to have four female moderators for next Democratic debate?

By Dave Andrusko

Rachel Maddow
Photo: Paul Schultz

Kudos to the indispensable Katie Yoder whose post today alerted me to the composition of the moderators for the November 20 Democrat presidential debate: they are all women, the “second time a major televised political debate has been led by moderators who are all women,” as Huffington Post’s Lydia O’Connor reported.

Ms. Yoder linked to just a couple of websites, including the Huffington Post (there will be more in the days to come) who celebrated this as a victory for (drum roll) a more expansive discussion of abortion. This wouldn’t necessarily follow, if the women involved weren’t so prominently associated the cause of unfettered abortion.

First, who are the four? According to Yoder, “MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker, who also serves as an NBC and MSNBC senior political analyst.”

What needs to be said about Maddow? A day without lambasting pro-lifers is a day lost to Maddow. Suffice it to add, as Yoder does, Maddow’s show has been the recipient of Planned Parenthood’s “Maggie Awards for Media Excellence.”

Named after PPFA’s eugenics founder, Margaret Sanger, the awards “recognize exceptional contributions by the media and arts and entertainment industries that enhance the public’s understanding of reproductive rights and health care issues, including contraception, sex education, teen pregnancy, abortion, and international family planning.”

Last year, about 30 seconds after long-time Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards officially stepped down, Maddow pointed to Richards’ just published memoir [“Make Trouble”] and asked “this makes me think you’re going to run for office. Are you going to run for office?”

Two days later, Mitchell asked Richards, “Is there elective politics in your future?”

One other quick, but important point. According to the New York Times, eight candidates have qualified to be a part of the November 20 debate in Georgia– Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang–while one is “on the cusp”– Tulsi Gabbard. Only Gabbard has voiced even the slightest hesitation in endorsing abortion throughout pregnancy and paid for by the public.

Yet, they have chosen their words carefully. The “A” word is typically avoided at all costs, replaced by “reproductive rights” or “reproductive health care.”

Wonder if Maddow will allow Democrats to tip-toe around a full-throated embrace of abortion?!