The Hyde Amendment, which was put in place in 1977 (Biden voted for it), prevents federal funding from going to most abortion providers. The law makes is more difficult for many low income women to access vital healthcare.
Now, Biden has changed his mind about the long-standing law AGAIN.
“If I believe health care 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 a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
Biden says he changed his mind because Republicans have enacted “extreme laws in clear violation of constitutional rights” limiting abortion rights across the U.S. But that was true yesterday, too, and it didn’t seem to sway Biden then.
The former vice president added that he makes “no apologies” for his previous support of the law.
“But circumstances have changed. I’ve been working through the final details of my health care plan like others in this race and I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” Biden continued.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to... exercise their constitutionally protected right,” he added.
He isn’t saying it, but it seems likely Biden’s change of heart had something to do with Warren’s impassioned response to a question about the amendment last night on MSNBC, which quickly went viral.
Warren told MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Wednesday that “women of means” in states with strict abortion restrictions “will still have access to abortions.”
“Who won’t [have access], will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can’t afford to take off three days of work, will be very young women, will be women who’ve been raped, will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family,” she said. “We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are the most vulnerable.”
Biden also faced attacks from other 2020 competitors yesterday over his continued support of the amendment.
“No woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.
“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,” Beto O’Rourke told CNN.
Biden’s conciliation is a positive development, and it sure isn’t going to be the last time that he’s tugged to the left by his 2020 rivals. If he’s lucky enough to get into office, the trick will be keeping him to these promises.