Former Vice President Joe Biden declared his opposition to the Hyde Amendment on Thursday, just days after his campaign reaffirmed his support of it.
Biden revealed his new position during a speech at the IWillVote Gala hosted by The Democratic National Committee in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer funds from being used to fund abortions.
Biden said that although he supported the Hyde Amendment as a United States Senator, he realized that “times have changed.”
“For many years as U.S. Senator, I have supported the Hyde Amendment like many many others have,” he said.
He said that the efforts by states to cut abortion funding for abortion mills like Planned Parenthood made it clear that some women would need federal assistance to get abortions.
“I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he said, arguing that if the federal government was going to start providing universal health care, it would need to fund abortions.
Biden said he would make “no apologies” for his former position and his new position.
“If I believe that health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support that amendment dependent that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code,” he said.
Biden said that he never wanted to impose his views on when life begins, and so would never impose his beliefs on payment for abortions on other people.
“Folks, times have changed, I don’t think these guys are going to let up,” he said.
Biden waffled on the Hyde Amendment earlier this week, as his campaign stated that he continued to support the Hyde Amendment unless women were losing their right to an abortion.
But his position earned a sharp rebuke from Planned Parenthood.
“The unfair Hyde Amendment makes it so that those who have the least end up having to pay the most to access abortion, and those who are service members or live on reservations are often left with no coverage for abortion care,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Director Kelly Robinson said in a statement to NBC on Wednesday.
Earlier in the campaign, Biden told an ACLU activist that the Hyde Amendment had to go.
That makes Biden’s position on the Hyde Amendment officially a “flip-flop-flip.”