In an interview Friday morning with CNN, Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine said that he still supports the Hyde Amendment. Kaine said that, despite reports, “I have not changed my position,” on the bill which bans the use of federal money on abortion services.
At the beginning of the Democratic National Convention, spokespeople for both Clinton and Kaine said that he would support a repeal of the Hyde Amendment. Clinton committed to repealing Hyde early in her campaign, and the Democratic platform reiterated that position. The amendment, which primarily impacts Medicaid recipients, has long been the target of pro-choice activists who argue that it targets the reproductive health care of poor women.
Kaine has long been vocal about his personal reservations on abortion, but as NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-choice groups have stressed, his voting record in the Senate is “100 percent pro-choice.” Yet Kaine’s nomination concerned some activists who pointed to his time as Virginia governor. During his tenure, Kaine signed a handful of anti-abortion bills, many of which, as Think Progress notes, are still in effect today. Among other things, Kaine signed a law that provided funding for so-called crisis clinics.
Kaine’s interview will likely rattle pro-choice groups who have expressed reservations about his nomination.
Update: In a statement, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue called Kaine’s views “deeply disappointing.” They added: “[...] we sincerely hope that Senator Kaine will continue to educate himself on what Hyde means to the most vulnerable women in this country and join us in fighting this injustice.”
Update 2: NARAL said that they “accidentally tweeted” the statement above and have since deleted the tweet. In a new statement, NARAL again asked Kaine to “continue to educate himself” and reiterated their commitment to the Clinton campaign: “We fully support Hillary Clinton in her commitment to repeal this law and as a champion for reproductive freedom.”
Karen Finney, communications director for Tim Kaine also told NBC that “while [Kaine] supports the Hyde Amendment, he has also made it clear that he is fully committed to Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda, which he understands includes repeal of Hyde.”