FLASHBACK: Biden Said ‘I Do Not View Abortion as a Choice and a Right’
Former Vice President Joe Biden once took a middle-of-the-road approach to the abortion debate, a video from 2006 reveals.
The Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to Texas Monthly in a 2006 interview later uploaded to YouTube in 2008 about his approach to abortion, which he said drew anger from Republicans and Democrats. CNN’s KFile unearthed the video Thursday.
Biden explains in the video that he was “a little bit of an odd man out” in the Democratic Party, adding that although he voted against partial-birth abortion, he also voted for no restrictions on access to the procedure.
“I made everybody angry,” Biden said in the video. “I made the right-to-life people angry because I won’t support a constitutional amendment or limitations on a woman’s right to exercise her constitutional right as defined by Roe v. Wade.”
“And I’ve made the groups — the women’s groups and others — very angry because I won’t support public funding and I won’t support partial-birth abortion,” Biden added.
The former vice president said because of this, he foresaw his presidential bid being “very difficult.”
“I do not view abortion as a choice and a right,” Biden said. “I think it’s always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.”
He added that most Americans think abortions could be limited, but that politics have progressed to the point of either eliminating all abortions or having abortion on demand.
“The fact of the matter is, I’ve never known of a woman having an abortion say ‘By the way, I feel like having an abortion,” Biden said. “It’s always a tragic decision made. Always a difficult decision. And I think we should focus on how to deal with women not wanting abortion.”
The 2020 presidential hopeful has changed his stance on abortion since he made the comments. He flipped on the Hyde Amendment in June following backlash from Democrats and pro-choice groups.
The Hyde Amendment bans the use of federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
A spokesman for Biden’s campaign told CNN the candidate “supports a woman’s right to choose and he believes that we are in a moment of unprecedented assault on choice in this country” and as “president, he would fight to preserve Roe v. Wade and he has called for it to be codified into law.”
Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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