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Joe Biden reverses course, says he now supports using federal dollars for abortions

Joe Biden is now saying a long-standing congressional ban would prevent poor women from exercising their constitutional rights to terminate a pregnancy.

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, beside Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, right, and renderings of a park in being constructed in Boston in honor of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
AP

ATLANTA — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is reversing course and declaring that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.

Biden made the declaration Thursday following two days of intense scrutiny and criticism from rivals after his campaign affirmed that the 76-year-old former vice president still supported the Hyde Amendment.

Biden said at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta that keeping Hyde would prevent poor women from exercising their constitutional rights to terminate a pregnancy. He pointed to Republican-run states imposing new abortion restrictions.

The Democratic front-runner defended his previous support for the Hyde Amendment. 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.