The Corner

Politics & Policy

Once a Champion of Life, Joe Biden Is NARAL’s Man Now

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. economy during a campaign event in Dunmore, Pa., July 9, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden, who argues that his near-50 years in public life uniquely qualifies him to be president, has done more “evolving” than perhaps any candidate in modern history. And no issue better exemplifies his lack of moral conviction than his about-face on abortion. This week, NARAL, the powerful abortion trade association, endorsed Biden for the presidency.

Here’s reminder of the former senator’s long history on issue – with a twist at the end:

1976: Biden votes for the Hyde Amendment, a law banning federal funds from being used to pay for abortions.

1977: Biden votes against allowing Medicaid to fund abortions, even for victims of rape and incest.

1981: Biden authors an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, banning any American foreign aid from being used in research related to abortions. The “Biden Amendment” is still law.

1981: Biden votes for the Siljander Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to lobby for the cause of abortion. (Congress would later modify the language to include lobbying against abortion as well.)

1982: Biden supports Jesse Helms’s amendment to a federal debt-limit bill, which would permanently prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions and abortion research or training. Biden was to the right of Ronald Reagan in this instance.

1982: Joe Biden proposes a constitutional amendment that would overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to choose their own policies on abortion.

1983: Biden votes, numerous times, to prohibit the Federal Employees Health Benefits program from funding abortions for government workers.

1984: Biden supports Ronald Regan’s “Mexico City policy,” which bans federal funding for private organizations that provide abortion, advocate to decriminalize abortion, or expand abortion services.

1993: Biden once again votes to save the Hyde Amendment.

1994: Biden writes letter to a constituent bragging that he has voted against abortion funding on 50 separate occasions.  

1995: Biden votes for partial-birth abortion bans that would be vetoed by President Bill Clinton.

1997: Biden again votes for partial-birth abortion bans that would be vetoed by Clinton.

2003: Biden votes for the “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.”

2007: Right before being picked as veep for Barack Obama — the most radically pro-abortion president in American history — Biden writes in his biography, “I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years.”

2008-2016: Biden says absolutely nothing substantive on abortion policy, or much else.

June 5, 2019: Biden publicly reaffirms his 40-plus year support for the Hyde Amendment.

June 6, 2019: After criticism from other Democratic Party primary candidates, Biden immediately folds, reversing 40-years of middle-of-the-road principles and “denounces” the Hyde Amendment.

Today: Biden has dropped all moderation, miraculously resolved all those deep struggles with the Catholic faith, and aligned himself NARAL’s position — abortion on demand until crowning, paid for by the state.

Thoughtful people change their minds all the time.  No thoughtful person changes his mind about everything exactly when it benefits him most.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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