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Bernie Sanders Claims There’s ‘No Middle Ground on Abortion,’ Vows to Repeal Hyde Amendment

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.,) campaigns in San Francisco, Calif., June 1, 2019. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

In response to Joe Biden’s defense of the Hyde amendment, which bans direct federal funding for abortion, another 2020 presidential hopeful, Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), dismissed the notion of compromising with pro-life Americans and called for the amendment to be repealed.

Biden’s campaign aides told NBC News this week that the former Delaware lawmaker remains supportive of the Hyde amendment. The admission came less than one month after Biden told an ACLU-trained voter that the 1976 statute “can’t stay.”

Biden’s campaign later told CNN that he misheard the voter and thought she was referring to the Mexico City policy, which prohibits the federal funding of non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals abroad.

In response, Sanders — who represents the most significant threat to Biden’s capturing the nomination, according to polling — dismissed the notion of coming to any sort of compromise with his pro-life colleagues and vowed to repeal the amendment.

Biden is the only Democrat in the 2020 field who has explicitly defended the Hyde amendment. Two of his competitors, Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have released plans to protect access to abortion.

Warren has also joined fellow 2020 aspirants Senators Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota to co-sponsor federal legislation that would eliminate the Hyde amendment.

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