Biden: 'I can no longer support' Hyde Amendment

WASHINGTON – Just a day after facing backlash from fellow Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday reversed his reported position on the Hyde Amendment, a long-standing law that blocks federal funding for abortion in most cases.

"If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent" on others who are trying to limit abortion access in some states.

Biden made the announcement while speaking at the Democratic National Committee Gala in Atlanta, Georgia, and then followed up with a posting online. Georgia is one of the several states that has recently passed a law limiting access to abortion. The legislation sparked protest, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is also running for president, also visiting the state recently to rally against the new law.

More: Warren: Biden wrong for continuing to support Hyde Amendment

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Biden's reversal comes a day after the former vice president's campaign reportedly maintained that he still supported the Hyde Amendment.

Since then, Biden's fellow 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have called for the amendment to be repealed, and have even called out Biden by name.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a town hall on MSNBC on Wednesday said she believed that Biden was wrong to support the law.

“I’ve lived in America where abortions were illegal and understand this: Women still got abortions," she said. "Now, some got lucky from what happened and some got really unlucky on what happened."

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke said: "The vice president is absolutely wrong on this one."

"This is going to deny necessary health care to lower-income women and disproportionately to women who live in communities of color," he told CNN Wednesday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been one of Biden's most vocal critics and was one of the first 2020 candidates to call out the former vice president specifically by name for his position on the federal abortion-funding prohibition.

"I could not disagree more with [Biden] and I'm appalled, honestly, that someone who wants to be the Democratic nominee in this day and age is still supporting the Hyde Amendment," De Blasio said during an interview on Fox News earlier Thursday.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a popular progressive Democrat amongst the new lawmakers in Congress, also chided Biden Thursday before his reversal for his reported stance on the Hyde Amendment, claiming he is not a true progressive.

"The term progressive is getting hijacked so much that people just think it means Democrat now and not all Democrats are progressive," Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview with The Young Turks. "I'm sorry but if you're going to come out and say you support the Hyde Amendment, which prevents us from funding clinics like Planned Parenthood. That's not progressive."

Biden said Thursday night that although for many years as a senator he supported the Hyde Amendment, he said women's right to access to abortion was "not under attack as it was then as it is now."

"It's clear that these folks are going to stop at nothing to get rid of Roe [v. Wade], and it's clear to me that we have to just be just as strong in defending it," he said. "I support Roe. I support a woman's right to choose under that constitutional guarantee provision. And quite frankly, I always will."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden: 'I can no longer support' Hyde Amendment