June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – 2020 Democrat presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that his abandonment of his past support for restricting federal funding of abortion had nothing to do with political calculations, despite his very recent support for the Hyde Amendment drawing the ire of his competitors for the Democrat presidential nomination.
Biden stirred controversy last week by saying he still supported the annual budget language that forbids most taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for cases of rape or incest, or to save a mother’s life. After a video showed him answering “yes” to an activist asking if he would “commit to abolishing” Hyde, the Biden campaign claimed he had misheard the question and still supported the amendment – while reserving the right to change his mind depending on the progress of “draconian attempts to limit access to abortion.”
Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and most of the 2020 Democrat field pounced on his remarks, leading him to announce just a day later he was changing his position. “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 declared.
The sudden reversal was met with mockery and skepticism from both sides, but Biden insisted Tuesday that it represented a sincere reevaluation of his policy views in comments to NBC 13 in Des Moines, Iowa.
“It’s a legitimate criticism for them to look at,” but the “truth is, the majority of the American people agree with the Hyde Amendment,” Biden said. “So the idea that it’d be helpful to change is not accurate in terms of being able to win an election.”
Biden claimed his reevaluation was due to a combination of witnessing the latest wave of aggressive pro-life laws and reviewing the ramifications of his own healthcare plan, which would dramatically expand the federal Medicare and Medicaid health programs.
“That means it’s federally funded, so how could if we say you could not use any federal funds, what means by which could a poor woman ever exercise her constitutional right under Roe v. Wade?” Biden asked. “That’s why I had to change my position, and why I think we have to change.”
While forcing federal taxpayers to fund abortions is unpopular with the general public, as the vice president admitted, many believe the hardline pro-abortion stance was necessary for any Democrat hoping to make it to the general election in the first place. Many of his Democrat competitors are currently working to demonstrate the most pro-abortion stance possible with proposals to codify and expand Roe in federal statutes (Biden himself had already endorsed such a plan).
Even so, Biden already had a radically pro-abortion record; as a senator he generally voted in lockstep with Planned Parenthood and NARAL. As former President Barack Obama’s running mate, Biden spent eight years in what was arguably the most pro-abortion administration in American history, during which he told a Chinese audience he “fully understand[s]” and was “not second-guessing” the country’s practice of forcing families into abortion and sterilization.
Biden, who claims to be an observant Catholic, said in 2015 that he was “prepared to accept as a matter of faith” that “at the moment of conception there's human life and being,” but wasn’t prepared to “impose” a “rigid” or “precise” view on abortion that was “born out of my faith” (ignoring that science is equally conclusive on when life begins). He didn't explain why he's against the law protecting preborn children he acknowledged are human.
In an article earlier this week, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia rebuked Biden for caving into the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion doctrine when he declared that he now opposes the Hyde Amendment banning federal funds for abortion.
“The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy,’” stated Archbishop Chaput in a June 10 column that appeared on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website where he called Biden out by name.
“It will have a candidate’s allegiance and full-throated reverence…or else,” the Archbishop added.