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Joe Biden caves, reverses stance on Hyde Amendment in 24 hours after leftist backlash

(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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It took only 24 hours for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to cave to the left on his support of the Hyde Amendment after coming under backlash for his stance.

The former vice president announced his reversal Thursday, making “no apologies” for his previous support of the ban on federal funding for abortions while blaming Republicans for his about-face.

(Video: Twitter)

“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,” he said at an Atlanta, Ga. event for the Democratic National Committee. “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.”

He renounced his decades-long support for the ban, crediting recently passed abortion restrictions in states run by Republican governors for his change of heart.

“But circumstances have changed. I’ve been working through the final details of my health care plan like others in this race, and I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he said.

Biden’s new stance came just one day after he sparked an outcry from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other abortion rights groups as well as members of his own party for reaffirming his support of the Hyde Amendment which was passed more than four decades ago, banning federal health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid from providing funding for abortions.

While the Democratic National Committee and each 2020 Democratic presidential contender oppose the ban, the devout Roman Catholic had stood by his view, which he had explained in a 2007 interview shared by the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra on Twitter.

But Biden became the target of criticism after his campaign told NBC News Wednesday that he still supported the Hyde Amendment.

Speaking with a voter and ACLU member who asked him if he would “commit to abolishing the Hyde Amendment” last month, Biden responded “yes” before changing the subject and then deflecting when asked to confirm.

CNN’s Dana Bash wondered Wednesday if Biden was “playing the long game” politically by standing in opposition to his party on the issue.

“I am told explicitly that it is Joe Biden, himself, who says: ‘this is my conviction and I’m not changing it. This is how I have felt and this is how I have voted for my four decades in public service, and I’m not changing,'” CNN’s Dana Bash said Wednesday.

But, not to worry, the left soon welcomed the Democrat back into the fold after he reversed his position hours later.

“Happy to see Joe Biden embrace what we have long known to be true: Hyde blocks people—particularly women of color and women with low incomes—from accessing safe, legal abortion care,” Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen tweeted.

The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America also praised Biden for his new stance.

“At a time where the fundamental freedoms enshrined in Roe are under attack, we need full-throated allies in our leaders. Leadership is often about listening and learning,” Ilyse Hogue wrote in a statement, according to The Hill. “We’re pleased that Joe Biden has joined the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in coalescing around the Party’s core values — support for abortion rights, and the basic truth that reproductive freedom is fundamental to the pursuit of equality and economic security in this country.”

But while he may have earned the left’s applause, Biden was raked over the coals for the turn-around, adding another flip-flop to his growing collection.

Frieda Powers

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