Joe Biden - US Today Headline Story

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After two days of intense criticism, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reversed course Thursday and declared that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment” that makes it more difficult for some women to access care, Joe Biden said at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta. The former vice president’s reversal on the Hyde Amendment came after rivals and women’s rights groups blasted him for affirming through campaign aides that he still supported the decades-old budget provision. The dynamics had been certain to flare up again at Democrats’ first primary debate in three weeks. Biden didn’t mention this week’s attacks, saying his decision was about health care, not politics. Yet the circumstances highlight the risks for a 76-year-old former vice president who’s running as more of a centrist in a party in which some skeptical activists openly question whether he can be the party standard-bearer in 2020. And Biden’s explanation tacitly repeated his critics’ arguments that the Hyde Amendment is another abortion barrier that disproportionately affects poor women and women of color. “I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” Biden said, opening a speech dedicated mostly to voting rights and issues important to the black community. “I want to be clear: I make no apologies for my last position. I make no apologies for what I’m about to say,”…

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