By Calvin Freiburger
Following a single day of indignation from pro-abortion activists and fellow Democrats, former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden formally renounced his past support for restricting taxpayer abortion funding via the Hyde Amendment.
Biden found himself in hot water this week for saying he still supported the annual budget language that forbids most taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for those in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life. After a video showed him answering “yes” to an activist asking if he would “commit to abolishing” Hyde, the Biden campaign claimed he had misheard the question and still supported the amendment – while reserving the right to change his mind depending on the progress of “draconian attempts to limit access to abortion.”
On Thursday evening, Biden announced at a Democrat National Committee fundraising gala that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, The Hill reports.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code,” Biden declared. “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.” He added that he makes “no apologies” for his previous stance, but claimed that he realized “circumstances have changed” while developing a health plan and running into the “problems that Hyde now presents.”
Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel slammed Biden for flipping, in the process reminding voters of the former vice president’s past and present plagiarism scandals:
After weeks of confusion on where he stands, Joe Biden just endorsed unlimited taxpayer funding of abortion.
Biden should've just plagiarized his position from Planned Parenthood’s website from the start like he's been doing for his other policy positions.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 7, 2019
“Joe Biden’s support for taxpayer funding of abortion after decades of opposition is just the latest example of Democratic extremism on abortion,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded. “Long gone are the days of ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ Since its implementation in 1976 when it was strongly supported by Democrats, the Hyde Amendment has saved the lives of more than 2 million Americans who otherwise would have been victims of taxpayer-funded abortions. There’s nothing ‘rare’ about millions more abortions if the Hyde Amendment is repealed.”
Biden’s new stance brings him in line with the rest of the Democrat field. The former vice president already had a radically pro-abortion record; as a senator he generally voted in lockstep with Planned Parenthood and NARAL. As former President Barack Obama’s running mate, Biden spent eight years in what was arguably the most pro-abortion administration in American history, during which he told a Chinese audience he “fully understand[s]” and was “not second-guessing” the country’s practice of forcing families into abortion and sterilization.
Biden, who claims to be an observant Catholic, said in 2015 that he was “prepared to accept as a matter of faith” that “at the moment of conception there’s human life and being,” but wasn’t prepared to “impose” a “rigid” or “precise” view on abortion that was “born out of my faith” (ignoring that science is equally conclusive on when life begins). He didn’t explain why he’s against the law protecting preborn children he acknowledged are human.
Last month, Biden endorsed the idea of legislatively codifying Roe v. Wade in federal law, which would effectively bar states from enacting pro-life laws regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturns the 1973 ruling.