A number of 2020 presidential candidates who have criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for his support of the Hyde Amendment voted in favor of it just last year.
The Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1977, prohibits the use of federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
Biden’s campaign confirmed on Wednesday that he backs the Hyde Amendment, which led to a litany of other Democratic presidential candidates criticizing his stance.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said during her Wednesday night town hall on MSNBC:
Here’s how I look at this. I’ve lived in an America where abortions were illegal. And understand this. Women still got abortions. Now some got lucky on what happened, and some got really unlucky on what happened. But the bottom line is that they were there. We do not pass laws that take away the freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 6, 2019
“This assault on women’s reproductive rights is an assault on women, but it’s particularly an assault on African-American women,” New Jersey Sen. CoryBooker said at an African-American leadership conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday. Georgia passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws last month. (RELATED: Vast Majority Of Women Affected By Alabama, Georgia Laws Are Black)
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted, “Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women, in particular, can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve. Reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be non-negotiable for all Democrats.”
No woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 5, 2019
Despite Gillibrand, Warren and Booker’s calls to repeal the Hyde Amendment in recent days, they all voted in favor of the amendment last year in an appropriations bill, along with 2020 candidates Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, California Rep. Eric Swalwell and then-Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
According to Politico, the relevant excerpt from the bill reads, “(A.) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion. (B.) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.”
Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders did not vote for the bill.
The issue of abortion has resurfaced as a number of states have passed laws further restricting abortions.
Editor’s note: Biden flipped his stance on the Hyde Amendment in a speech Thursday night at the DNC’s IWillVote Gala in Atlanta, Georgia.