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

Hello there, Kamala.

Kamala Harris.John Minchillo/AP

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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