Demand for taxpayer-funded abortions is where the Democratic Party platform now stands, and so it was only a matter of time before frontrunner Joe Biden caved to such a position. It was a matter of a day, to be precise.
Biden’s campaign on June 5 confirmed that he backed the Hyde Amendment, a rider passed each year by Congress which prohibits federal funds from paying for abortions except in instances of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. It is estimated the Hyde Amendment, first enacted in 1976, has saved over 2 million lives.
And then came the backlash from Biden’s Democratic rivals. Perhaps the strongest rebuke was from Senator Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted her opposition to the Hyde Amendment multiple times, and also has a pinned tweet on her account from her MSNBC town hall:
Understand this, women of means will still have access to abortions. Those who won’t will be poor women. It will be working women and women who can’t afford to take off three days from work and very young women. It will be women who have been raped and women who have been molested by someone in their own family. We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.
Um, clearly Warren does not actually understand what she opposes, since, again, the Hyde Amendment makes exceptions for rape and incest. It’s also rather rich to talk about those who are “most vulnerable” when there’s perhaps no one more vulnerable than the unborn. Even if women are poor, they deserve more help than abortion which gets rid of the child, rather than her impoverished situation.
It’s also worth noting that several of Biden’s Democratic critics, including Warren, have voted for spending bills which included the Hyde Amendment.
Biden had signaled previously he opposed the Hyde Amendment. He’s also signaled support for codifying Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand in all 50 states. Biden spoke on Thursday in Georgia, which recently passed a law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, in which he towed the Democratic Party line equating abortion as health care. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” he said.
Biden also indicated support for “universal coverage” and the “full range of health services women need,” which he believes will be negatively impacted by Hyde. “I’ve been working through the finer details of my health care plan like others in this race, and I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents.”
Such is a dangerous slippery slope, as Democrats not only equate abortion as health care, but health care as a human right, and thus abortions, paid for with taxpayer dollars, as a human right. No more is the mantra of “safe, legal, and rare,” but rather the Party platform itself calls for abortion on demand, paid for by taxpayers, with any dissent increasingly squashed.
Biden’s move is not only surprising as the man has flip-flopped throughout his career, but because we’ve seen this movie before. Senator Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate, has considered himself “personally opposed to abortion.” Kaine, too, also supported the Hyde Amendment, although some sources say he reversed course. (see note at the bottom)
Both Kaine and Biden have brought up their Catholic faith when discussing their mixed records on abortion. The Catholic Church is clear in its uncompromising stance against abortion.
Senator Warren was not the only Democratic contender to criticize Biden. A particularly memorable tweet came from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who consistently polls at 1 percent or lower, and who, when polling at 2 percent, was described by the Hill as being “a notable rise from previous polling.” Mayor de Blasio referred to Biden as “Dr. Jekyll,” of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, failing to note that Dr. Jekyll is the good guy.
But, de Blasio may have been onto something more than he realized. For protecting taxpayers from having to fund elective abortions is actually the position of the good guys. Polls show that American voters oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, including those who identify as pro-choice.
While Biden’s flip-flopping comes as a disappointment to some, such as pro-life Democrats, it may be a silver lining to those who wish to highlight the Democratic Party for its abortion extremism when it comes to the 2020 general election. And many believe Biden to be the likely nominee. The Democratic Party not only believes in taxpayer-funded abortions, but Democratic politicians at the state and federal levels have voted against adequately protecting babies who survive abortions from infanticide.
A poll from the Susan B. Anthony List shows that a strong majority, at 77 percent, support protecting babies born alive from abortion. A majority, at 62 percent, also are opposed to late-term abortions. Polls consistently show Americans in favor of restricting abortion after the first trimester, including those who identify as pro-choice.
The abortion-supporting mainstream media has been all for portraying the recent passage of pro-life laws at the state level as extreme, with some even inaccurately reporting on them. Yet the media fails to call out pro-abortion state laws such as those in New York and Illinois as extreme.
Joe Biden may have just given a gift to the pro-life movement. Let’s hope the Republican Party does not squander the opportunity.
Editor's Note: Sen. Kaine's office reached out to Townhall to note that he never flip flopped on the Hyde Amendment. He supports the Hyde Amendment and "was clear about his position when he was on the ticket," according to his team, who directed us to this 2016 report.