After days of criticism, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has changed his mind and declared that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.

The former vice president’s campaign affirmed earlier this week that the 76-year-old still supported the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services being used to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.,
The Democratic front-runner defended his previous support for it. He said he supported it because he thought that there was wide enough access to abortion services without any Medicaid or other government support for it.

But following days of intense scrutiny and criticism from rivals, Mr Biden, who has struggled with the issue of abortion rights because of his Roman Catholic faith, backtracked on his previous stance.
Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta, he said that keeping Hyde would prevent poor women from exercising their constitutional rights to terminate a pregnancy.
“I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he said, opening a speech dedicated mostly to voting rights and issues important to the black community with an explanation of a significant policy shift.
“I want to be clear: I make no apologies for my last position. I make no apologies for what I’m about to say,” he explained, arguing that “circumstances have changed.”

He also pointed to Republican-run states imposing new abortion restrictions.

The issue of reproductive rights has become an increasingly important topics among Democrats along the campaign trail amid a wave of conservative bans on abortions nationwide.

Culled from The Independent.

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