Biden Backs Out on Hyde Amendment Under Pressure from 2020 Rivals

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Currents News Staff

The Hyde Amendment has been in place since 1976, and bars the use of federal funds for abortion procedures except in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Joe Biden, the Catholic Democratic frontrunner for president, is doing a 180. He has pulled his support for the long-standing measure after backing it for decades, saying he changed his mind because of the highly restrictive abortion bans being passed in several states around the country.

“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to constitute, exercise their constitutionally protected right,” he said.

“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.”

The about-face comes after intense pressure from other democratic rivals slamming Biden for his ongoing endorsement.

“The Vice-President is absolutely wrong on this one, this is going to deny necessary health care to lower income women and disproportionately to women who live in communities of color,’ said fellow Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke.

But anti-abortion activists and Church leaders are stressing that there is no constitutional right to abortion at taxpayer expense.

“For more than 40 years the federal Hyde Amendment has prevented federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortion,” the New York State Catholic Conference said in a statement.

“Americans do not want their tax dollars funding the destruction of unborn human life; the Hyde Amendment must be preserved,” the statement continued.

Biden said he does not apologize for his previous stance on the Hyde Amendment but that “circumstances have changed,” making access to abortions harder for women who can’t afford it.