A Democrat Finally Talked About Women’s Rights at a Debate. Moderators Immediately Pivoted to Jobs.

Hello there, Kamala.

Kamala Harris.John Minchillo/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

For the first time since the first round of Democratic debates nearly four months ago, a Democratic candidate finally brought up reproductive health care onstage—and she did it without a direct prompt.

“This is the sixth debate we have had in this presidential cycle; not nearly one word with all of the discussions about health care, on women’s access to reproductive health care, which is under full-on attack in America today,” said California Sen. Kamala Harris. “It’s outrageous.”

Harris refocused the discussion during a contentious back-and-forth over Medicare for All to make her point, saying that Republicans are putting women’s lives at risk with their extreme anti-abortion policies. “There are states that have passed laws that will virtually prevent women from having access to reproductive healthcare,” she said, “and it is not an exaggeration to say that women will die—poor women, women of color will die because these Republican legislators in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with our bodies.”

In June, after a six-week ban on abortion passed in the Georgia legislature, the candidates pledged their support onstage for a woman’s right to choose. Eight other states have passed bans on abortion that stand in direct challenge to the rights established in Roe v. Wade, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case on the constitutionality of a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Harris was primed to make this point, as she did on Twitter last month after the debates: 

After Harris made her point, the moderators quickly pivoted to other candidates….to ask about jobs.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate