Pelosi, House Dems seek to help Biden on abortion
Joe Biden has disowned his previous statements on many major issues, which could be evidence of a campaign built on brute cynicism, creeping dementia or outright fear of incurring the wokesters’ wrath.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats moved last week to save Biden, and other Democrats, from a tough election bawl.
They opted against fighting to repeal the Hyde Amendment.
GOP Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois successfully shepherded through one of the major pieces of anti-abortion legislation in 1976. He attached to a budget bill an amendment that banned federal funding for abortion for women enrolled in Medicaid.
The amendment withstood a U.S. Supreme Court challenge in 1980. It has been renewed annually ever since. Support for the Hyde Amendment has been a stalwart Republican position for nearly 45 years.
Ironically, some Democrats supported it as well. One of them was Joe Biden.
Biden, who is nominally Catholic, was for many pro-choice positions. Yet he had always opposed repealing the Hyde Amendment — that is, until last year.
In June 2019, just days after he reaffirmed his support for the provision, Biden declared that he was ending his four decades of support.
At the time the former vice president attributed his flip to abortion being “under attack” by Republican lawmakers.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” Biden said at an Atlanta fundraiser.
As with most things Biden, his explanation is muddled.
It’s difficult to see how a 40-year-old law mingled with the GOP’s contemporary attempts to restrict abortion, or how the Hyde Amendment was a threat to abortion, especially since more than 50 million babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court affirmed Hyde’s legality.
Meanwhile, no one in the media apparently bothered to ask Biden why all taxpayers should pay for the procedure if the Hyde Amendment were repealed, when 70 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup survey in May, are comfortable with some restrictions on it.
Last week, however, Pelosi and the Democrats lent Biden a hand.
As Politico reported: “Senior Democrats had been considering scrapping the so-called Hyde amendment … amid a hard push from the party’s left flank,” but instead decided to “keep a decades-old ban on government funding for abortion in spending bills this year, dodging an election-year clash with Republicans.”
Although House Democrats have purged themselves of all pro-life voices, this decision was rooted in two things.
One was the Democrats’ confidence that Biden will win and that they can retake the Senate, and simply gut Hyde that way.
But, according to Politico, “Repealing the language also risked flaring tensions within the Democratic caucus, with vulnerable moderates anxious about an abortion battle on the House floor just months before voters go to the polls.”
The issue raises quite the contrast between congressional Democrats and their presidential candidate.
If the Democrats sweep in November, the Hyde Amendment will likely disappear in the near future. If it does, it will be because congressional Democrats are true believers and because Joe Biden sold his political soul.
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