Former vice president Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for taxpayer-funded abortion during Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Midway through the debate, after Biden announced that he would select a woman as his vice presidential candidate, Sanders proceeded to attack Biden for his past support of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortion, and was, until June 2019, supported by Biden.
“Right now, a woman’s right to control her own body is under massive assault, unprecedented assault,” said Sanders, a statement with which Biden signaled his agreement.
“Joe, you have in the past on more than one occasion, voted for the Hyde Amendment, which says that a woman, low-income woman, could not use Medicaid funding for an abortion. Is that still your view or have you modified it?”
Biden, a Catholic who made his faith the center of a recent campaign video, replied that this was “not my view,” and that “by the way, everybody who’s been in the Congress voted for the Hyde Amendment at one point or another, because it was locked in other bills.”
He said the reason his view on the Hyde Amendment had reversed in recent years is because “if we’re going to have public funding for all healthcare along the line, there is no way you could allow for there to be a requirement that you have Hyde Amendment.”
Sanders replied that he was “glad” Biden had changed his view on the Hyde Amendment….
On Sunday, Biden also promised, if elected president, to cement abortion rights in federal law to protect them against future decisions by the Supreme Court. The 77-year-old candidate said he would “send immediately to the desk of the United States Congress (…), a codification of Roe v Wade amended by Casey. Because I think it is a woman’s right to choose. I think it’s a woman’s opportunity to be able to make that decision.”
Biden then boasted about his 100% voter-rating from NARAL, an abortion-rights organization….
The topic of gay marriage was also discussed during the debate. Sanders criticized Biden for his vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in June 2013. Sanders voted against the bill.
Biden, who has officiated at least one same-sex wedding, proceeded to credit himself for helping to change society’s view on gay marriage.
“And by the way, I might add, I’m the first person to go on national television in any administration and say, I supported gay marriage,” said Biden. “I supported gay marriage when asked. It started a ripple effect for gay marriage on national television….”
The above comes from a March 16 story on Catholic News Agency.