Joe Biden reverses course and says he's against Hyde Amendment

By Caroline Linton

/ CBS News

The Hyde Amendment & 2020 Dems

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he is against the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions in most cases, reversing course from his earlier position after criticism from his 2020 Democratic rivals. "I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability … to exercise their constitutional protected right," Biden said at the Democratic National Committee fundraising gala.

Biden's support of the Hyde Amendment has driven the political conversation among Democratic candidates since Wednesday, drawing rebuke from his fellow Democrats and women's groups.

Biden had initially told a voter last month that he was against the Hyde Amendment, but his campaign clarified earlier this week that he supported it.

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After a campaign stop Wednesday in New Hampshire, Biden declined to answer a question on the Hyde Amendment by CBS News.

Biden, a staunch Catholic, is anti-abortion in his personal life, but supports Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. In his 2007 memoir "Promises to Keep," Biden said he would continue to protect Roe, and that "I refuse to impose my religious beliefs on other people."

Women's rights groups quickly expressed their dissatisfaction with his position on the Hyde Amendment.

Grace Segers contributed to this report.

First published on June 6, 2019 / 9:12 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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