Hours after Joe Biden's presidential campaign reaffirmed the former vice president's support for the anti-choice Hyde Amendment—which bars the use of federal funds for abortions—Sen. Elizabeth Warren made clear during an MSNBC town hall Wednesday night that she believes Biden's position is wrong and deeply harmful to low-income women in particular.
"Yes," Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate, said without hesitation when asked by host Chris Hayes whether Biden's position on the Hyde Amendment is wrong. "It's been the law for a while, and it's been wrong for a long time."
"Here's how I look at this," Warren said. "I've lived in an America where abortions were illegal. And understand this: Women still got abortions. Now, some got lucky on what happened, and some got really unlucky on what happened. But the bottom line is they were there."
Warren went on to explain how the Hyde Amendment and other attempts to restrict funding for abortion services disproportionately impacts "the women who are most vulnerable":
Under the Hyde Amendment and every one of these efforts to try to chip away or to push back or to get rid of Roe v. Wade, understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won't will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can't afford to take off three days from work, will be very young women, will be women who have been raped, will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family. We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.
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Elizabeth Warren gets asked if Joe Biden is wrong for supporting the Hyde Amendment. She says yes and then shows why she’s the best fighter the Democratic Party has, making an impassioned, unapologetic case for protecting women’s rights. #WarrenTownHall pic.twitter.com/EGCJeb7a8z
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 6, 2019
Warren's explict rebuke of Biden's position on the Hyde Amendment came amid new reporting late Wednesday on the former vice president's attempt "to undermine the Affordable Care Act's coverage of contraception"—an effort viewed as further evidence of how out of touch Biden is with the vast majority of the Democratic Party on reproductive rights.
According to The Intercept's Ryan Grim, "Biden had argued that if the regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act were going to mandate coverage, it would anger white, male Catholic voters, and threaten President Obama’s reelection in 2012. Biden's main ally in the internal fight over contraception was Chief of Staff William Daly; both men are Catholic."
While Biden and Daly were ultimately defeated, Grim noted, the former vice president's "battle against contraception, and his unwillingness to join the bulk of the Democratic field and call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, puts him dramatically out of step with today's party."