Biden Flips Stance on Hyde Amendment, Says He Supports Federal Money for Abortions
Democratic front-runner Joe Biden came out Thursday against the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds for abortion, just a day after affirming his support and drawing fierce criticism from rivals and progressive activists.
Biden, speaking at a Democratic National Committee event in Atlanta on Thursday evening, said he no longer supports the 1976 provision.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.” Biden said. “Times have changed.”
On Wednesday, his campaign said in a statement that the former vice president was sticking with his long-standing support of the Hyde Amendment, which has been routinely added to government funding bills and blocks federal medical programs from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.
After his stance was reported by NBC News, several of his competitors in the campaign highlighted their differences on Twitter.
“There is #NoMiddleGround on women’s rights. Abortion is a constitutional right. Under my Medicare for All plan, we will repeal the Hyde Amendment,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said.
Earlier: Biden Breaks With Rivals by Opposing Federal Funds for Abortions
California Senator Kamala Harris chimed in: “No woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, speaking at a town hall in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that was broadcast on MSNBC, said: “We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.”
Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL, an abortion rights activist group, praised Biden for having “listened to the voices of millions of women and further clarified his position on the Hyde Amendment. Let’s be clear, the Hyde Amendment discriminates against all women but particularly poor women and women of color.”
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