In the nearly three hours of debate Tuesday night, none of the candidates said anything about abortion. That might seem okay to most people, but Planned Parenthood was quite unhappy with that outcome, according to Hot Air.
The Planned Parenthood account published a series of indignant tweets about the missed opportunity for candidates to talk about how to expand access to abortions.
"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 tweet thread began. "As the American people decide their vote, they deserve to hear about the candidates' visions for how they will protect and expand access to abortion. We call on the Democratic National Committee and CNN to ensure that efforts to protect abortion access are discussed."
I don't know who exactly is behind the decision not to feature abortion as a topic during the debate, whether it was the Democratic National Committee or CNN executives or the moderators themselves, but it's not hard to see why one might want to avoid highlighting such an ugly topic.
It's quite a difference from the first debate, which featured former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro calling for "reproductive justice" and advocating for government-funded abortions for transgender women.
One thing that has become clear as the abortion debate has escalated in recent months is that Democrats would prefer not to have to address the topic in great detail. The more you talk about abortion, the harder it is to skate by on the characterization of it as just another form of "reproductive health care" rather than acknowledging it as a procedure that takes a human life.
It would, however, have been interesting to see the candidates get presented with this story about a baby born at 23 weeks and be asked how they still defend supporting abortions for any reason up to 24 weeks or beyond. That, of course, would not happen on CNN or MSNBC, and is possibly part of the reason we will not see the Democrats debating on Fox News.