During Tuesday night's first Democratic Debate, Hillary Clinton slammed the notion of defunding Planned Parenthood and received the largest applause of the night. The topic, which seemed dangerously close to being left out of the two hour discussion entirely, was brought up at the end of the night when Anderson Cooper asked the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates what they thought of paid family leave. Bernie Sanders gave an impassioned plea that America catch up with the rest of the developed world and let mothers stay home if or when they need or want to, but it was Clinton who recounted a story of staying home with a sick baby while feeling like she had to go in to work that drove the point home, touching many Americans out there, male and female alike. And then came the Planned Parenthood talk.
When moderator Dana Bash asked Clinton what she thought of the criticism that paid leave would mean more "big government," Clinton quipped that the Republicans are more than OK with "big government" getting in the way when it comes to health care.
[The Republicans] don't mind when "big government" interferes 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! ... We should not be paralyzed by the Republicans and they're constant refrain "big government this, big government that." ... I know how to afford it, and it's make the wealthy pay for it. That's how we'll get it done.
Paid family leave is something Sanders, Clinton, and Martin O'Malley definitely agree on (and no, we didn't hear from Jim Webb, because, well, Webb didn't get to speak. No surprise there.)
During a night that touched on hugely important topics like Black Lives Matter, foreign policy, and, you know, pot, Clinton's emphatic stance on women's rights was sadly singular. Women's rights has been a significant talking point on the campaign trail, but on Tuesday? We didn't hear so much. Thankfully, Clinton and Sanders delivered a brief, but impactful, punch.
The second Democratic debate will be held on Nov. 14.