Joe Biden’s ‘Flip-Flop-Flip’ on Federal Funding for Abortion Is Latest Reversal

Joe Biden (Drew Angerer / Getty)
Drew Angerer / Getty
JOEL B. POLLAK

Former vice president Joe Biden has reversed position — again — and now supports using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortions, which he promises to accomplish by repealing the Hyde Amendment.

As Breitbart News’ Charlie Spiering noted, Biden flip-flopped for the second time in as many months in a speech to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday evening, after he had come under withering criticism from Planned Parenthood and from his rivals in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

It was a “flip-flop-flip,” Spiering added.

Biden once adopted what he called a “middle of the road” position on abortion, and for decades supported the Hyde Amendment (named for the late Illinois Republican congressman Henry Hyde), which prevents federal funds from being spent directly on abortion.

“I have consistently — on no fewer than 50 occasions — voted against federal funding of abortions,” he said in 1994. In 2007, he reiterated: “I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding.”

In May, Biden appeared to reverse his position, telling a volunteer from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that he no longer supported the Hyde Amendment.

But on Wednesday, Biden’s campaign told NBC News that he still supported the Hyde amendment. That created an opening for criticism by his Democratic opponents, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Planned Parenthood, too, took Biden to task, calling the Hyde Amendment “discriminatory.”

“To support the Hyde Amendment is to block people — particularly women of color and women with low incomes — from accessing safe, legal abortion,” the organization said, according to The Hill.

On Thursday night, Biden announced that he no longer supported the Hyde Amendment, telling the DNC donors that “circumstances have changed.”

Biden added, according to CNN’s Julie Gallagher: “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need, and the ability to … exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel responded by suggesting that Biden may as well have “plagiarized” his position from Planned Parenthood:

Almost every major Democratic presidential candidate now supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, as well as legalizing partial-birth abortion, and abortion up to the moment of birth.

And Biden has added to his long list of flip-flops, spanning nearly half a century in politics.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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