Why Did Candidates Ignore Women's Rights During Democratic Debate?

With so many women’s rights issues being ignored, will we ever know what candidates are willing to do to create some real change?

A huge opportunity was missed during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate when seemingly none of the candidates were willing to broach the topic of women’s rights.

As pointed out by a few media outlets, the reason for this might have been obvious: for the most part, all five of the candidates onstage are actively claiming to be pro-choice, and so their opinions on Planned Parenthood, birth control, and reproductive rights would be generally the same. Considering the recent attack on Planned Parenthood by the GOP, it also might have seemed like an overly-discussed topic.

Hillary Clinton, however, was able to fit in a huge jab at the GOP’s stance on Planned Parenthood and their skewed vision of big government.

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"When people say that, it's always the Republicans or their sympathizers who say you can't have paid leave, you can't provide health care," she said. "They don't mind having big government to interfere with a woman's right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They're fine with big government when it comes to that. I'm sick of it! You know, we can do these things." 

But other than that one mention, there was no other real effort to discuss women’s issues and what anyone plans on doing about it.

With the ever-increasing wage gap, the war on Planned Parenthood, misconceptions about abortions (like how people forget that abortions are not directly funded by the federal government), rape and sexual assault running rampant on college campuses across the nation, and many other prominent women’s issues in dire need of attention, this was a huge missed opportunity.

It is a great shame that these candidates did not use the power of live TV and free airtime to rid politics of the ridiculous myths and legends of evil abortion doctors taking government money, sinful women that are just “asking for it,” and quiet timid women that are too afraid to ask for raises (thus, why they don’t have the same pay as men) that seem to make up a lot of the GOP's viewpoints on women’s rights.

There is still plenty of time between now and when voters are expected to hit the polls, so hopefully these issues will be addressed another time.

Still: the sooner, the better.

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