During Sunday night’s CNN Democratic presidential debate, Senator Bernie Sanders took former Vice President Joe Biden to task on his abortion record. Namely, Biden’s previous support of the Hyde Amendment, a ban on federal funding for abortion services except in the case of rape, incest, or when the life of the pregnant person is in jeopardy. The amendment is an attack on the nation’s poor and disproportionately impacts low-income people of color, and until recently, Biden supported it. In fact, Biden’s position on the Hyde Amendment did a complete 180 when his campaign was in full swing. The New York Times reports that in June 2019, after “two days of intense criticism” from his rivals in the Democratic primary as well as groups like Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, Biden reversed his position.
“If we’re going to have public funding for all healthcare along the line, there’s no way you could allow for there to be a requirement that you have Hyde Amendment, a woman who doesn’t have the money, could not have coverage under healthcare,” Biden said during the debate.
Biden added that he would codify Roe v. Wade, and emphasized that he supports a “woman’s right to choose.” Great. It’s unfortunate that it took a couple of days of awful press one year ago for him to agree that that right was extended to women who couldn’t otherwise afford it.