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, he quoted (without citing the source) a paragraph from “The 2016 election: Clinton vs. Trump voters on American Health Care,” written by POLITICO. 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. [As he did the next day.]