As many viewers of last night’s Democratic debate noted, there were several topics that were completely glossed over by both moderators and candidates. From LGBTQ+ rights to relations with China to the climate crisis, participants in the debate skipped talking about many issues that weigh heavily on voters’ minds. Well into the three-hour spectacle, Senator Kamala Harris realized that the topic of reproductive rights had yet to be raised during the entire debate cycle, so she took the prompt into her own hands.
Harris, who was vocal on Twitter after the last Democratic debate in September about participants staying mum on the topic of reproductive rights, called endangered access to abortion and reproductive health a “significant healthcare issue in America.”
“Women are the majority of the population in this country,” Senator Harris concluded. “People need to keep their hands off of women’s bodies and let women make the decisions about their own lives.”
Once again we're talking about health care — but not a single question on the nationwide attack on reproductive health and rights. Women are half of this country, and they deserve better. #DemDebate— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 16, 2019
Fellow candidate Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) commended Senator Harris’s sentiment.
“God bless Kamala,” he said, adding, “Women should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight. It is not just because women are our voters and our friends and our wives. It’s because women are people and people deserve to control their own body.”
On Twitter, many people were thankful that Senators Harris and Booker finally brought up the elephant in the room.
Thank you @KamalaHarris for bringing up the attacks on reproductive rights.— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) October 16, 2019
Thank you Kamala for bringing up reproductive rights!!!!!!!!!— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) October 16, 2019
Say it louder 🗣 for those in the back! https://t.co/IYivlSslqV— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 16, 2019
Access to legal abortion, reproductive rights, birth control, cancer screenings, and so much more are all part of the healthcare issue. And if we don’t talk about them, then we’re telling women and others who need them that they aren’t important.
As Senator Harris made clear, the conversation about healthcare needs to shift in order for America to move forward.