Biden and the Hyde Amendment: Part Three

By Dave Andrusko

How’s this for ironic? Our first post about Joe Biden was that readers should scan the story quickly–he could flip-flop on his “support” for the Hyde Amendment before they finished the story.

Our second story—which was supposed to go out yesterday but (my mistake) didn’t—went into further detail. For example, how Biden had already provided himself an escape hatch so he could oppose the Hyde Amendment when he felt the time was right . I’ve attached it, because there is some interesting background material.

Lo and behold, later in the day on Thursday, Biden, that profile in courage, saw the light. Here’s The Hill’s opening paragraphs:

Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, just one day after reaffirming his decades-long support for the ban on federal funding for abortions.

“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 at a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta.

Biden, according to the story, “made no apologies” for his previous support of the Hyde Amendment which bans virtually all federal funding of abortion and is credited with saving two million lives.

“But circumstances have changed,” he said. In other words, that was then (a couple of days ago) and this is now.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey’s tongue-in-check first sentence offered the perfect summary : “Joe Biden is a man of convictions — and if you don’t like those, he’ll come up with new ones for you.”

After having zagged on Wednesday, Biden zigged on Thursday. After fellow Democrats bashed him, Biden, of course, ran for the cover of utter incoherence. (As Morrissey noted, the Hyde Amendment is about federal funding, so the zip code remark is absurd even for Biden.)

How quickly did Biden flip his flip-flop? The night before Rep. Cedric Richmond, national co-chairman of the Biden campaign, went on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” to defend Biden’s momentary support for the Hyde Amendment “He is a deeply religious man…he is guided by his faith, his position on the Hyde Amendment has been consistent,” Richmond intoned.

That was before Biden felt the full wrath of his fellow pro-abortion Democrats running for President. But once he’d come around to saying he opposed the Hyde Amendment, all was forgiven.

Planned Parenthood President Dr. Laura Wen sang his praises while Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, chimed in, “We’re pleased that Joe Biden has joined the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in coalescing around the Party’s core values — support for abortion rights, and the basic truth that reproductive freedom is fundamental to the pursuit of equality and economic security in this country.”

Biden, now as before and as he will no doubt in the future, tries to have it every which way on abortion. But with abortion on demand edging over into support for infanticide now Democratic Party orthodoxy, he is out of wiggle room, not to mention principle.

What follows is yesterday’s story which did not get posted. Note the last line: “Biden’s is sure to ‘evolve’ on the Hyde Amendment.”


Biden and the Hyde Amendment: Part Two

By Dave Andrusko

[Tip of the cap to @MichaelRWear]

To date we’ve posted just one story on pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden’s twists and turns on the Hyde Amendment. Quick refresher.

NBC News reported Wednesday that Biden’s presidential campaign said Biden supported the Hyde Amendment, which cuts off almost all federal funding for elective abortion and is credited with saving two million lives.

At the same time, NBC News reported that this was directly at odds with what Biden had told the ACLU a couple of weeks before as documented in a video posted May 8 on Twitter by the ACLU.

So…what is Biden’s position? The key paragraph in the NBC News story by Heidi Przybyla ends thusly:

Biden’s campaign told NBC he would be open to repealing Hyde if abortion avenues currently protected under Roe were threatened.

As you know, virtually the entire Media Establishment, firmly in cahoots with the Democrat Party, is peddling the line that Roe v. Wade will be toppled by noon tomorrow. So, clearly Biden has an out to oppose the Hyde Amendment at the time of his choosing.

I started this post with a tip of the hat to Michael Wear, a former Obama operative, whom I have pummeled a couple of times for his evasiveness.

However, to his credit, Wednesday quoted (without citing the source) a paragraph from “The 2016 election: Clinton vs. Trump voters on American Health Care,” written by POLITICO [https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000158-039b-d881-adda-77db04b70000]. I am going to include the paragraph that precedes what Wear quoted to give the quote its full impact:

In a separate question, we also asked: “Medicaid is the largest government program that pays for health care for low-income people. Currently the federal government prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid. Do you favor or oppose changing this policy in order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions?” Overall, only 36% of likely voters favor allowing Medicaid funding to be used for abortion services, while a majority (58%) oppose. Clinton voters are slightly in favor (57% support, 36% oppose), while Trump voters are decidedly against (19% support, 77% oppose) (Figure 16).

On this question, women are slightly more supportive than men of abortion coverage under Medicaid, but the differences are statistically insignificant. However, voters making more than $75,000 were more supportive of using Medicaid funds for abortion services (45% favor) than those making $25,000 or less (24% favor)

In other words…

  1. As much and as passionately and as insistently as pro-abortion Democrats want you and me to pay for Medicaid-funded abortions, the public disagrees by a wide margin (58% to 36%). Even 36% of Hillary Clinton’s voters disagreed.
  2. Isn’t it interesting that voters making $75,000 are almost twice as likely (45% to 24%) as voters making 25,000 or less to support the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions?

Wear (a virulent critic of President Trump, by the way) observes

Here’s an interesting stat on Hyde that runs counter to, oh, every tweet that Biden’s opponents have put out today attacking his position [ostensibly in support of the Hyde Amendment]. It’s one thing to be a voice for the poor. Another thing to pose as a voice for the poor when they, uh, don’t agree with you.

Final thought for today. The nub of the NBC News article is that among Democrats running for President, Biden is the lone “moderate” on abortion. (Or, as Przybyla described it, his theoretical support for the Hyde Amendment “sets him apart from the rest of his 2020 Democratic competitors.”)

You can take it to the bank that Biden will wiggle out of this at the time he thinks it does him the most good, for example in a debate with fellow pro-abortion Democrats. Consider this from Przybyla’s story as evidence:

Jamal Brown, Biden’s press secretary, said the candidate’s evolution on the issue is well documented. Biden, who said he thought Roe was wrongly decided when he arrived in the Senate in 1973, now “firmly believes that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and should not be overturned,” Brown said. He added that Biden “has fought vigorously to protect a woman’s right to choose and against measures criminalizing abortion. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he blocked the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork and he opposed anti-choice justices Roberts, Alito and Thomas.

Biden’s is sure to “evolve” on the Hyde Amendment.