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Biden’s Radical Flip Flop on Abortion

Aborto, El American

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After a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn abortion rights in the United States was leaked Monday, President Joe Biden said that termination of pregnancy is a woman’s “fundamental right.” However, his position has changed dramatically over the past 50 years.

Following Biden’s statement, a viral video resurfaced in which the president stated in a 2006 interview for Texas Monthly Talks that abortion “is always a tragedy” and that he did not believe it was “a choice and a right.”

“I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it´s always a tragedy, and I think it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions.” There should be common ground and consensus to do that,” said then-Senator Biden.

Biden’s change of opinion on the abortion issue

In the same interview, the former Democratic senator said that, instead of arguing about whether a woman can make the decision to have an abortion, the ideal was to focus on “how to make it more favorable for women to want to carry a pregnancy to term.”

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Biden referred to himself as a “bit of an odd man out” among Democrats because he would not vote for federal funding for abortions, had voted to limit late-term abortions, but did not oppose the right to perform a termination of pregnancy under the terms established by Roe v. Wade.

By that time, Joe Biden’s views on abortion had already changed several times over the course of his long political life. In 1974, a year after the famous Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteed abortion rights in the country, the young Democratic senator criticized the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I don’t like the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion,” Biden told Washingtonian magazine at the time. “I think it went too far. I don’t think a woman has the exclusive right to say what should happen to her body.”

In 1981, Congress passed an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) that prohibited the United States from providing funding for biomedical studies on abortion or forced sterilization.

The amendment to the law, known as the “Biden Amendment,” then provided in Section 104(f)(3) of the FAA that, “None of the funds made available to carry out this part may be used to pay for any biomedical research which relates, in whole or in part, to methods of, or the performance of, abortions or involuntary sterilization as a means of family planning.”

Section 104 (f)(3)

Later, in 1982, Biden joined the Republicans and voted for a constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn Roe v. Wade and legislate on abortion on an individual basis. “I’m probably a victim, or a product, whatever you want to call it, of my background,” Biden said at the time, as reviewed by the New York Times, and said that had been “the hardest vote” yet. He later voted against the same amendment.

30 years later, during the 2012 vice presidential hopeful debate, Biden said he “accepted the position” of the Catholic Church on abortion: “Life begins at conception, that’s the judgment of the church, I accept it in my personal life, but I refuse to impose it on others.”

This Tuesday, President Biden said that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade it would be “a radical decision” that would not only affect a woman’s “fundamental right” to have an abortion, but would have a direct effect on guaranteeing other rights.

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