May 1, 2020
On April 14, 2020, former President Barack Obama endorsed his former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden. In his video announcement, he says of Biden, “Through all his trials, he’s never once forgotten the values or the moral fiber that his parents passed on to him and that made him who he is.” But Obama is incorrect.
When it comes to the issue of abortion, Biden has evolved from the moderate he claimed to be into a radical supporter of abortion rights. Throughout Biden’s time in the United States Senate, he supported the Hyde Amendment and other anti-abortion measures, which he credited to his Catholic faith. But as the Democratic Party began to become a radical proponent of abortion, his conscience conflicted with his political success. After decades of supporting the Hyde Amendment, last summer Biden surrendered to his party. A closer look at Biden’s new stance on the Hyde Amendment, his promises to appoint justices supporting Roe v. Wade, and his remarks on abortion around the globe prove that when it comes to the issue of abortion, he’s not moderate at all.
After years of supporting the life-saving Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, Biden reversed his position in June 2019, apparently in order to follow the conventional Democratic wisdom of making him more “electable,” at the expense of the unborn. Just over a month after he announced his campaign for president, Biden changed his so-called “moderate” stance on abortion which made him a competitive candidate in a Democratic primary trending left. He stated, “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.” The sudden change came literally one day after he reaffirmed his support for the Hyde Amendment. But in the interim, he received intense criticism from his own party and fellow Democratic candidates. These included Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, who all promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Apparently, Biden learned his lesson. The next day, he reversed his position and joined the other Democratic candidates in their extreme advocacy of abortion.
But his campaign promises don’t end there. On February 7, 2020, during a Democratic primary debate, Biden promised to make supporting the supposed right to an abortion a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominees. However, if his plan to appoint left-leaning Justices fails, he promised to “send [a bill] to the United States Congress” that “legislates Roe v. Wade adjusted by Casey.” Moreover, on his campaign website, he claims that abortion is a “constitutional right” and that his administration will do “everything in its power” to stop what he calls “rash state law.” These include “parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements,” which he claims, “blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion.”
Biden’s support of abortion goes beyond his previously “moderate” stance. Instead, Biden does not have a problem with abortion policies being spread across the globe. For example, he now opposes the Mexico City Policy (which he previously supported) which bans federal aid to foreign organizations that provide or promote abortion under the guise of “family planning.” Regarding the Mexico City Policy, Biden explained, “I strongly oppose the limitations on the ability for the United States to contribute to organizations in these countries that, in fact, provide women’s health alternatives for choice.” To Biden, abortion is more than a “constitutional right,” it is a fundamental health service for the world at large.
When it comes to abortion, it seems that Biden has radicalized his position because of a perception that this will somehow make him more “electable.” As his recent change on the Hyde Amendment suggests, his concern for the unborn seems to go only so far as it doesn’t get in the way of his own desire for political power. Biden is often thought of as a “moderate” candidate. But his stance on the unborn seems guided by his own self-interest and is inconsistent with his previous stance. Notably, his radical pro-abortion stance is also diametrically opposed to what his Catholic faith teaches.
Contrary to former President Obama’s recent praise about Biden’s convictions, Biden has not only forsaken the one moderate conviction that he had, but also has replaced it with a stance that is radical enough to put him in line with the other former Democratic presidential candidates.
Adelaide Holmes is an intern for Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy at Family Research Council.