clearn.png
Thursday October 17th, 2019 4:03AM

Dem rivals rebuke Biden for not backing abortion rule repeal

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden is under fire from his Democratic presidential rivals and women's rights advocates for his defense of a decades-old prohibition on federal money paying for abortions.

Most Democratic White House hopefuls reflect their party's latest platform calling for the outright repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which traces back to a compromise made when Biden was a young Delaware senator in the years after the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalized abortion nationwide.

But a Biden campaign spokesman said Wednesday that the former vice president supports the measure, though he "would be open to repealing it" if abortion access is further threatened by restrictive state laws, like those recently passed in Georgia and Alabama.

The hedging prompted intraparty outcry, with top Democrats reaffirming their commitment to abortion rights and scrapping the Hyde Amendment. The pushback marked the first significant instance in which virtually the entire crowded 2020 field united to critique Biden, who has emerged as an early Democratic front-runner .

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has campaigned as an unapologetic feminist, tweeted "reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats." On Capitol Hill, California Sen. Kamala Harris told The Associated Press she was "absolutely opposed to the idea that a woman is not going to have an ability to exercise her choice based on how much money she's got."

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, during an MSNBC town hall in Indiana, said Biden was wrong to support the abortion funding restriction. "Women of means will still have access to abortions," Warren said. "Who won't will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can't afford to take off three days from work."

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke said on CBS News that Biden was "absolutely wrong" on his stance on the Hyde Amendment. "I hope that Joe Biden rethinks his position," O'Rourke said. "Perhaps he doesn't have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn't understand who the Hyde Amendment huts the most."

Other presidential candidates, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also voiced support for ending the Hyde Amendment.

Biden's abortion views came under scrutiny recently after video emerged of a conversation between him and a South Carolina activist that appeared to suggest he backed the Hyde Amendment's repeal. His campaign said Biden thought the activist was asking about the so-called Mexico City rule, which prohibits U.S. foreign aid to non-American organizations that provide abortion services.

The campaign said Biden supports ending the Mexico City rule but backs the Hyde Amendment for now. That would change, it said, "if avenues for women to access their protected rights under Roe v. Wade are closed."

Biden, a Roman Catholic, has long been a supporter of the once-bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It bars the use of federal funds for abortion other than in cases of incest, rape or to save the life of the mother.

That position aligns the former vice president with the man he's trying to unseat next year, President Donald Trump. Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said Wednesday that "President Trump opposes taxpayer funding of abortions and supports the Hyde Amendment."

Biden has said in the past he agrees with his church's opposition to abortion personally but doesn't think the government should impose his views on others. After the Supreme Court decided the Roe v. Wade case, Biden originally worried the decision "went too far," though he later became a staunch defender of it.

"I've stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years," he wrote in his 2007 book "Promises to Keep." ''I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding, and I'd like to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion, but I will also vote against a constitutional amendment that strips a woman of her right to make her own choice."

As a party, Democrats didn't expressly state opposition to the Hyde Amendment until 2016. The Democratic platform that year also introduced a specific mention of Planned Parenthood, as it was adopted amid a rash of Republican-run state legislatures trying to strip Medicaid financing for the women's health giant whose services include abortion and abortion referrals.

Abortion rights supporters also condemned the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday.

"As abortion access is being restricted and pushed out of reach in states around the country, it is unacceptable for a candidate to support policies that further restrict abortion," Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Biden's position "further endangers women and families already facing enormous hurdles and creates two classes of rights for people in this country, which is inherently undemocratic."

Biden ally and California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in an interview, "I respect Joe. I just disagree." She said it wouldn't affect her support, but she planned to raise the issue with him: "Oh, yeah. We'll talk about it. No question."

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono went further, saying she was "very disappointed" in Biden's position and urged Democratic presidential candidates to "come together" in full support of abortion rights.

"This is why there are going to be a lot of women and others who are going to be asking Biden, 'Where exactly are you on the issue of a woman's right to choose?'" Hirono said.

___

Barrow reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington, Errin Haines Whack in Philadelphia and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Mexican officials try to stave off tariffs at White House
Mexican officials arrived at the White House Wednesday for a high-level, face-to-face meeting, hoping for a deal to stave off President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexican goods flowing into the United States.
3:47PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Colts drafted Okereke despite sexual assault allegation
GM: Colts were aware of a sexual assault allegation against linebacker Bobby Okereke before drafting him
3:45PM ( 7 minutes ago )
English classes, legal services cut for immigrant kids
The government has stopped reimbursing some contracted shelters for the cost of teaching immigrant children English-language courses and providing legal services and recreational activities
3:38PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Senators launch bipartisan bid to block Saudi arms sales
Republicans and Democrats are banding together to try to stop the Trump administration's sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia
2:55PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Police investigate body found outside ex-lawmaker's home
Authorities in Arkansas say they're investigating as a homicide remains found outside the home of a former state senator who Republican Party officials say is dead
2:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Thai Parliament votes for coup leader to stay on as PM
Thailand's Parliament has elected coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister in a vote that helps ensure the military's sustained dominance of politics since the country became a constitutional monarchy nearly nine decades ago
1:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Bernie Sanders urges Walmart board to pay workers more
Bernie Sanders urges Walmart board at annual shareholders' meeting to pay workers at least $15 per hour
1:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
De Blasio gets 2020 presidential backing from local union
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio picks up the 1st union endorsement of his longshot presidential bid
11:05AM ( 4 hours ago )
Thai Parliament convenes for vote likely to keep Prayuth PM
Thailand's Parliament has convened for a vote that is expected to keep Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister five years after he seized power in a military coup
10:07AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Elections
Joe Biden's $5T climate plan: Net zero emissions by 2050
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is pitching a $5 trillion-plus climate action proposal that he says would lead to an economy with a net zero emission of carbon pollution by 2050.
6:18PM ( 21 hours ago )
Biden campaign says his climate plan failed to cite sources
Joe Biden's presidential campaign is amending his climate policy plan because a handful of passages did not include citations for original sources of nearly identical language
6:10PM ( 21 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says he doesn't think Markle is 'nasty'
Now it's time for the Trumps to play host and hostess in London
4:12PM ( 23 hours ago )
General Election News
FIFA members gather ahead of Infantino's re-election
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is meeting his 211 voters one day ahead of his re-election for a new four-year term
4:54AM ( 1 day ago )
Presidential hopeful Castro proposes vast change in policing
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has released a proposal to lessen wrongful police shootings
10:02AM ( 2 days ago )
2020 Democrats grapple with California's electoral buzz saw
Nearly all the Democratic presidential hopefuls have yet to hire staff or spend money in California, the nation's biggest state and the one offering the largest number of delegates
5:38AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Denver mayor runoff centers on fast growth, gentrification
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock seeks a third term against an upstart challenger in run-off election
9:34PM ( 18 hours ago )
The Latest: Booker calls for gun restrictions at Dems rally
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is getting California Democrats on their feet with a rousing call for gun control.
6:42PM ( 3 days ago )
The Latest: Hickenlooper draws boos with knock on socialism
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper booed at gathering of California Democratic activists after knocking socialism
6:25PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Mexican officials try to stave off tariffs at White House
Mexican officials arrived at the White House Wednesday for a high-level, face-to-face meeting, hoping for a deal to stave off President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexican goods flowing into the United States.
3:47PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Colts drafted Okereke despite sexual assault allegation
GM: Colts were aware of a sexual assault allegation against linebacker Bobby Okereke before drafting him
3:45PM ( 7 minutes ago )
English classes, legal services cut for immigrant kids
The government has stopped reimbursing some contracted shelters for the cost of teaching immigrant children English-language courses and providing legal services and recreational activities
3:38PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Ohio doctor accused of murder in 25 patient deaths
An Ohio critical-care doctor has been arrested and charged with murder in the deaths of 25 hospital patients who authorities say were deliberately given overdoses of painkillers
3:16PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Sudan protesters say 40 bodies pulled from Nile in capital
Organizers of pro-democracy protests say 40 bodies have been pulled from the Nile River in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, bringing the death toll since the violent dispersal of a sit-in camp outside the military's headquarters to 100
3:08PM ( 44 minutes ago )