HARRINGTON: Veering To The Left, Biden Is No Longer ‘Middle Of The Road’ On Abortion
Two presidential election cycles ago Joe Biden spoke with apparent conviction about his personal view of abortion. Biden, who was running for a second term as vice president in 2012, said life began at conception.
“But I refuse to impose … I just refuse to impose that [belief] on others,” Biden said.
That was then. To borrow a phrase from Biden, this isn’t your father’s Democratic Party.
This time around Biden is running in a crowded Democratic field moving farther left by the day. The Party now takes its line from the socialists — and they’ll “be damned” if they go “middle of the road.” For Democrats, abortion is no longer “safe, legal, and rare.” It should be encouraged in middle school. It should be “comfortable,” with no limits up until — or after — birth. It should be shouted — to cheers.
And, of course, it should be taxpayer funded. Democratic candidates for president are beginning to call for the repeal of the Hyde amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or for the health of the mother.
Joe Biden is one of them. Asked by a liberal activist if he would change course from a position he held for decades, Biden said “yes.”
“I’m glad you just said you would commit to abolishing the Hyde amendment,” the ACLU activist said, triumphantly.
“It can’t stay,” Biden said, nodding to the left-wing base.
He has been doing that a lot lately. Only one month into his campaign, Biden is staking out his claim as the “most progressive” in the race, calling for a climate change “revolution,” and for taxpayers to foot the bill for illegal immigrants’ health care.
Now he’s taking another extreme position: forcing those who are morally opposed to abortion to pay for it. Most Americans think that’s wrong. Joe Biden used to think so.
Biden “repeatedly” voted for the Hyde amendment and against funding abortions in the 1980s, the New York Times reported.
“If it’s not government’s business, then you have to accept the whole of that concept,” Biden said in 1986, “which means you don’t proscribe your right to have an abortion and you don’t take your money to assist someone else to have an abortion.”
Decades later, Biden remained consistent, telling Tim Russert in 2007 he was “still” opposed to public funding for abortion.
Biden also said he believed life begins at conception. “I am prepared to accept my church’s view,” he said. Though he said it is a “tough, tough decision for me,” Biden said he supported the Catholic church’s position on life.
That same year in his memoir Biden touted his position on abortion as moderate.
“I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than thirty years,” Biden wrote. “I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding, and I’d like to find ways to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion.”
Five years later, Biden again invoked his religion in forming his view – but said he would never impose his beliefs on others.
“My religion defines who I am. I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life, and it has particularly formed my social doctrine,” Biden said during a 2012 vice presidential debate. “With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion.”
“I accept it in my personal life,” Biden added. “But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, and Muslims, and Jews and I just refuse to impose that on others.”
Now Biden is pledging allegiance to left-wing groups, vowing he will impose the extreme views of pro-abortion activists against the will of most Americans.
“By a double-digit margin, a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion” — 54 percent to 39 percent — according to recent Marist poll. The majority of those surveyed identified themselves as pro-choice.
The media is portraying Biden as a “moderate” and electable choice for 2020. He is no longer a moderate, and way out of step with the electorate.
Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) is national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.