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Joe Biden Flops Back On Abortion

Biden reversed his reversal on the Hyde Amendment.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Joe Biden was bucking the Democratic abortion extremists and doubling down on his longtime support for the Hyde Amendment, a law that prohibits federal funds from being spent on abortion. As I almost wrote yesterday, it was too good to last. It should have been apparent that the twin priorities of legal abortion and spending federal money are too significant to be resisted by national Democratic candidates.

Thursday afternoon at a fundraiser in Atlanta, Biden flipped back. The candidate told supporters, “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment.”

In the Associated Press account of the speech, Biden’s speech was primarily focused on voting rights and issues that were important to the black community, but he opened with a reference to this week’s controversy over stance on federal funding for abortion, saying, “I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents.”

“I want to be clear: I make no apologies for my last position. I make no apologies for what I’m about to say,” Biden said, arguing that “circumstances have changed” after a number of states recently passed laws that heavily restrict the practice of abortion.

In the speech, Biden said that he believed that there were now too many restrictions on abortion and that many women were left without the option. He said that his flipflop on the issue was the result of his development of a detailed healthcare proposal, which he described as a Medicare-type public option that would encourage universal coverage. Biden said that universal care means that women should have access to abortion.

While the radical abortion-rights crowd will celebrate the newfound lack of diversity on the issue among their presidential candidates, not all Democratic voters will be happy with the change. As I pointed yesterday, a poll from earlier this year showed that a third of Democrats consider themselves to be pro-life. The intolerance of pro-life positions could especially hurt the party in the Bible Belt where pro-life Democrats such as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards have shown the ability to win statewide races but pro-abortion candidates such as Stacey Abrams of Georgia always seem to come up just short.

“Sure, most of the hardcore left don’t want any restrictions, but the majority of Americans do,” said a commenter on yesterday’s story about Biden. “I am a Democrat, yet I approve and support the Hyde Amendment. Biden is looking more and more like my likely choice.”

There is no word from this commenter yet on whether he will still support Biden after his flipflop on the Hyde Amendment, but it is likely that he will. There simply aren’t any better pro-life options among the Democratic candidates.

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