Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden took a stand on Thursday when his campaign announced that he would be the only 2020 contender to back the Hyde Amendment—a policy that prevents Medicare and other federal programs from paying for abortions.
The Biden camp said he was sticking by the rule despite being the only candidate to do so as throughout Biden’s career, he has maintained the position that it is a state or a person’s responsibility to provide an abortion, not the federal government.
Leftists fumed at the decision, undoubtedly hoping that Biden would shift this position more in line with more progressive presidential candidates.
The Hill reports:
Former Vice President Joe Biden infuriated abortion rights advocates Wednesday when his campaign confirmed he supports a policy that blocks Medicaid and other federal health programs from paying for abortions, making him the only Democratic presidential candidate to hold that position.
Biden’s support of the Hyde amendment puts him at odds with party leaders, congressional Democrats and his 2020 competitors amid growing momentum to repeal the federal prohibition.
“Joe Biden has been disappointing on reproductive rights for decades,” said Erin Matson, a reproductive rights activist who has worked with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and co-founded Reproaction, an abortion rights group.
“I am disappointed to see that he’s failing to read the room with Democratic primary voters and the general public who are sick and tired of restrictions on abortion and old, out of touch white men trying to put restrictions on women,” she added.
The Hyde amendment was first passed more than 40 years ago in response to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a woman’s right to abortion. It’s been reauthorized in annual government spending bills ever since, with votes from Democrats and Republicans.
Ultimately, Biden’s stance lasted less than 24 hours…
ABC News reports, “Former Vice President Joe Biden has reversed his stance on his support for a measure that prevents using federal funding for abortion after taking heat from some of his fellow 2020 Democrats.”
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and their ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code,” Biden said at the DNC “IWillVote” Gala in Atlanta on Thursday night, per the report.
Biden continued: “For many years as a U.S. senator, I have supported the Hyde amendment as many, many others have because there was sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right, women of color, poor women, women were not able to have access, and it was not under attack … as it is now. But circumstances have changed.”