Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden remains against repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of public funds to pay for abortion care, NBC News reported.
Reproductive rights advocates have long said that the 1977 ban — which makes exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger — disproportionately impacts low-income women and women of colour, who are often the ones facing the most roadblocks when trying to access abortion care.
Other presidential hopefuls, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called for repealing the Hyde Amendment as part of their platforms. But Biden, who has a spotty record on abortion rights, continues to support the ban, his campaign said. The decision separates him from other Democratic candidates, who've doubled down on their support for a woman's right to choose in face of the uptick in attacks on access to abortion care this year.
The news also marks a solid flip-flop for the Biden campaign. Last month, a voter in South Carolina asked Biden on-camera: "Will you commit to abolishing the Hyde Amendment, which hurts poor women and women of colour?" The 76-year-old candidate immediately replied, "Yes."
Reproductive rights advocates, even those who've endorsed Biden in the past, furiously condemned his continued support for the Hyde Amendment. "There’s no political or ideological excuse for Joe Biden’s support for the Hyde Amendment, which translates into discrimination against poor women and women of colour, plain and simple. His position further endangers women and families already facing enormous hurdles and creates two classes of rights for people in this country, which is inherently undemocratic," NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "Differentiating himself from the field this way will not earn Joe Biden any political points and will bring harm to women who are already most vulnerable."