Biden: 'I Can No Longer Support' the Hyde Amendment

June 6, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden has reversed course once again on the Hyde Amendment, a ban on federally funded abortions. The 2020 presidential hopeful now says he doesn't support it.

Speaking at in an event Georgia, Biden said new abortion laws in southern states have made him reconsider his long-held support for the Hyde Amendment.

"We now see so many Republican governors denying healthcare to the millions of most poorest and most vulnerable Americans by refusing even Medicare expansion," he said. "I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right, which I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code."

Later in his speech, Biden said that "times have changed" on abortion, according to Politico reporter Marc Caputo.

Biden has strongly supported keeping abortion and federal dollars separate issues in the past.

"I will continue to abide by the same principle that has guided me throughout my 21 years in the Senate: those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them," Biden wrote to a constituent in 1994. "As you may know, I have consistently—on no fewer than 50 occasions—voted against federal funding of abortions."

But the former Vice President's position on the Hyde Amendment came into question in May when he told an ACLU activist that "it can’t stay." The Biden campaign clarified his position to NBC on Wednesday, saying that the candidate is only "open to repealing Hyde if abortion avenues currently protected under Roe were threatened."

Following his renewed support for the Hyde Amendment, 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) attacked Biden during an MSNBC town hall.

"We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable," Warren told host Chris Hayes.

Warren is currently co-sponsoring a bill with fellow 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) to overturn it.