Former vice president Joe Biden now supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is endangered.
Biden told an ACLU activist about his changed position earlier this month, National Review reports.
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"It can't stay," Biden told the activist. The ACLU posted video of Biden's remark on May 8th. The Washington Post‘s David Weigel pointed it out on Sunday.
Our volunteer Nina asked Joe Biden whether, as president, he would lift the Hyde amendment, which bans federal insurance coverage of abortion.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 8, 2019
In 1994, Biden wrote to a constituent about his opposition to federal funding of abortions.
"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. "As you may know, I have consistently—on no fewer than 50 occasions—voted against federal funding of abortions."
He repeated that position in his 2007 book Promises to Keep.
"I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years," Biden wrote. "I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding."
His spokesman would not say if he continued to oppose federal funding of abortions a few weeks prior to the launch of his campaign.
Democrats have made a marked shift to the left on abortion over the past year.
In January, Democrats in the Virginia state legislature proposed expanding abortion access to up to 40 weeks, including to the moment right before birth.
In February, Senate Democrats blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which would have required doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion.
Earlier this month, the Vermont legislature passed a bill protecting abortion at all stages of pregnancy for any reason and pushed forward a measure to make abortion a constitutional right.