Are Democrats back-benching the 'war on women'?

Women's issues took a back seat at Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, and attacks against Republicans for waging a supposed "war on women" were kept to a minimum. In fact, the phrase was never uttered — a sharp departure from the tactic employed by Democrats in 2012 and 2014.

Hillary Clinton was the only candidate even to mention Planned Parenthood or allude to abortion (Democrats rarely use the word since it doesn't poll well; they say instead, as Clinton did, "a woman's right to choose"). Debate moderator Anderson Cooper didn't ask a single question about the devastating videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood administrators haggling over reimbursement rates for fetal tissue donated to medical science or altering abortion procedures to secure better tissue. There was no question about the recent announcement by the organization that it would no longer collect reimbursements.

Clinton's only mention of the organization came when she suggested Republicans are for Big Government when it works for them.

"They don't mind having big government to interfere with a woman's right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood," Clinton said. "They're fine with big government when it comes to that. I'm sick of it."

As for the gender pay gap, which is mostly a product of the different choices men and women make in their careers and not of discrimination, was mentioned in passing only twice.