Flip-flopping makes John Kerry seem like a paragon of consistency.
Former Vice President and current 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s stance on abortion has always confused people. As a Catholic, he holds the pro-life view, but let’s be honest. You cannot go far in the modern Democratic Party with a pro-life perspective.
The confusion came to the forefront today since it seems like Biden flip-flopped on the Hyde Amendment that bans federal funding for abortions. His opponents jumped on the remarks, which makes me think his pro-life voting records on abortion as a senator could come back to haunt him.
From The Washington Examiner:
He told an ACLU volunteer that he would repeal the Hyde Amendment, and at a Tuesday rally in New Hampshire, Biden said he supports a woman’s right to have an abortion. Biden’s campaign aides nevertheless told NBC News on Wednesday that he still supports the Hyde Amendment.
“It may surprise progressive groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which promoted a recent tweet by one of its activists appearing to get Biden to commit to ending Hyde during a rope-line exchange in South Carolina,” NBC’s Heidi Przybyla wrote.
The campaign added that he would be inclined to repeal the amendment if Roe protections were in jeopardy, and added that Biden has never flip-flopped his position on Hyde language.
Planned Parenthood urged Biden and other candidates to educate themselves on the supposed “harmful impacts of this discriminatory policy.”
However, National Review updated its article about Biden’s support for the Hyde Amendment because his “campaign told CNN Wednesday afternoon that he misheard the ACLU supporter and has never changed his position on the Hyde amendment.”
The Biden campaign says he misheard this woman on the ropeline and thought she was referring to the Mexico City rule… Biden has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment, his campaign confirms to @ericbradner
— Rebecca Buck (@RebeccaBuck) June 5, 2019
*UPDATE 4:00PM ET
CNBC just reported that nothing changed and the Biden campaign reversed the denial:
“He has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment,” the Biden campaign said in a statement. “The Hyde Amendment does not prevent organizations in the US that provide lifesaving health care services for women from receiving the federal funding they need. But given the current draconian attempts to limit access to abortion, if avenues for women to access their protected rights under Roe V Wade are closed, he would be open to repeal.”
Personally Pro-Life, Politically Pro-Choice
This confusion proves abortion will cause Biden some problems on the campaign trail. Like I said before, Biden is Catholic. He is personally pro-life but toes the pro-choice stance to excel in the party. Take this interview with America in 2015 (emphasis mine):
In an exclusive interview with America released at the beginning of this week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. affirmed that pro-life people “absolutely, positively” are welcome in the Democratic party and that he believes, as a Catholic, that “abortion is always wrong.”
Mr. Biden spoke at length about how he understands the tension between the demands of his faith and his position on abortion. When Fr. Matt Malone, S.J., America’s editor in chief, asked Mr. Biden if it was difficult taking positions on issues that put him at odds with U.S. Bishops, as in the case of abortion, he responded:
“It has been hard…I’m prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing [and] non-God-fearing people that have a different view,” Biden said. He continued, “Abortion is always wrong…But I’m not prepared to impose doctrine that I’m prepared to accept on the rest of [the country].” (See the exchange, which begins at the 13:30 mark, in the full interview embedded at the bottom of this post.)
Fr. Malone also asked Mr. Biden if there was room for people who are pro-life in the Democratic party. The Vice President responded resolutely: “Absolutely. Absolutely, positively. And that’s been my position for as long as I’ve been engaged.”
As a U.S. senator from Delaware, Biden voted against a 1977 compromise that allowed Medicaid to fund abortions that included exceptions for victims of rape and incest in addition to concerns for the life of the mother. While the rape and incest exceptions passed in that case, Biden voted in 1981 to again remove them, in what was the most far-reaching ban on federal funds ever enacted by Congress.
Biden also voted several times, including in 1983, to prohibit federal workers from using health insurance on abortion services, with the only exception being to save the life of the mother.
In his book Promises to Keep, Biden wrote that he does not believe he has the “right to impose my view on the rest of society,” does not want to impose his “religious beliefs on other people,” reaffirms his support for Roe v. Wade.
The thing is, I know plenty of atheists and agnostics who oppose abortion.
I used to hold a pro-abortion view, but my Catholic faith did not change my mind. I am pro-life because of science and common sense.
However, until the government defines life, we will have Roe v. Wade. This is why I push people to change the hearts and minds of abortion advocates. Trust me, if I can change, anyone can change.
Biden’s voting record and personal beliefs got me thinking. Did Biden not understand the question about the Hyde Amendment or did he slip his true belief? It seems like with Biden he separates his personal opinions from those he holds to keep his top place in the Democratic Party.
Will Two Beliefs Harm Biden?
I do not think it will because outlets have longed documented Biden’s voting record. It is not a secret.
Despite that fact, it has not stopped the other candidates from jumping on him. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
There is #NoMiddleGround on women’s rights. Abortion is a constitutional right. Under my Medicare for All plan, we will repeal the Hyde Amendment.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 5, 2019
ACKSHULLY, Senator, abortion is not a constitutional right. The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a right to privacy.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA):
No woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 5, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):
I asked @ewarren just now about Biden’s support of Hyde. She said she “will lead the fight to have it overturned.”
Pressed on if D nominee can hold that position: “it’s not about the politics, its about whats right. The Hyde amendment should not be American law.” pic.twitter.com/zeghcybARk
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) June 5, 2019
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY):
Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women in particular can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve.
Reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 5, 2019
No matter your income or where you live, every woman should have access to health care including abortion. https://t.co/UqTwmmMFDD
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 5, 2019
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