Former Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1974, arguing that a woman should not have the “sole right” to decide whether to get an abortion.
Biden’s comments appeared in an interview with Washingtonian Magazine’s Kitty Kelley titled, “Death and the All-American Boy.” The profile was published about 16 months after the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not completely infringe upon a woman’s decision to have or not have an abortion.
“But when it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far,” Biden said in the interview. “I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body. I support a limited amnesty, and I don’t think marijuana should be legalized.”
Biden’s past statements come in stark contrast to his more recent political stances.
“As with much of this article, then-Senator Biden was taken out of context. The Vice President is and has been a long-time supporter of a woman’s right to choose,” a spokesperson with the then-vice president told then-Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim back in 2015.
The spokesperson’s claim that comment was taken out of context points to the fact that Biden made the statement during a lengthy diatribe about how he was not willing to fall in line with the party’s positions.
Biden’s whole quote reads:
I don’t care how that damn Americans for Democratic Action rates me. Those ADA ratings get us into so much trouble that a lot of us sit around thinking up ways to vote conservative just so we don’t come out with a liberal rating. When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I’m a liberal but that’s it. I’m really quite conservative on most other issues. My wife said I was the most socially conservative man she had ever known. I’m a screaming liberal when it comes to senior citizens because I really think they are getting screwed. I’m a liberal on health care because I believe it is a birth right of every human being—not just some damn privilege to be meted out to a few people. But when it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body. I support a limited amnesty, and I don’t think marijuana should be legalized. Now, if you still think I’m a liberal, let me tell you that I support the draft. I’m scared to death of a professional army. I vote my own way and it is not always with the Democrats. I did vote for George McGovern, of course, but I would have voted for Mickey Mouse against Richard Nixon. I despise that man.
In recent months, Roe v. Wade has faced heightened scrutiny as multiple states have passed restrictive abortions laws with some having been passed with the intent of trying to get the landmark court case reviewed and ultimately overturned. (RELATED: Supreme Court Legalized Abortion 46 Years Ago. Here’s A Look At Abortion Across The US)
Governors from Ohio, Mississippi and Georgia have all passed similar “heartbeat” bills, which makes abortions illegal after a heartbeat can be detected. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky signed a law in March that bans all “eugenics-based” abortions.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law earlier this month that bans nearly all abortions, without any exceptions for rape and incest. The bill is the most restrictive law in the nation and was passed with the specific intention of challenging Roe v. Wade.