Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at a Democratic National Committee event at Flourish in Atlanta on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia. Dustin Chambers/ AFP
Leading US Democrat Joe Biden, facing major pressure from several rivals chasing the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, on Thursday reversed his longstanding opposition to using federal funds for abortions.
For decades the former vice president supported the controversial provision that many in his party are now aiming to overturn.
The 40-year-old Hyde Amendment makes it illegal for US tax dollars to be spent on abortions except in rare cases when a pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, or when the pregnancy results from rape or incest.
As a US senator for more than 30 years, Biden — a 76-year-old Catholic who is personally opposed to abortion — voted dozens of times in support of the amendment.
But with several Republican-led state legislatures recently moving to restrict abortion rights, and as Biden endured fierce rebukes from Democratic rivals this week after his campaign confirmed that he still supported the ban, the party frontrunner may have been jolted into reconsidering his position.
“Women’s rights and health care are under assault in a way that seeks to roll back every step of progress we’ve made over the last 50 years,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”
Critics say the Hyde Amendment unfairly discriminates against low-income women because it forbids coverage for abortions in public insurance programs like Medicaid.
Abortion — and a potential challenge to Roe v Wade, the 1970s US Supreme Court decision which enshrined the nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy — has emerged as a hot-button issue ahead of next year’s elections between a Democratic nominee and Republican President Donald Trump.
“The Hyde Amendment should not be American law,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday, adding she would “lead the fight” to repeal it.
Signing several actions in front of reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, Biden said there was “no time to waste” in issuing the executive orders, memorandums and directives.
North Korean state media on Wednesday slammed former US vice president Joe Biden as an “imbecile” and a “fool of low IQ” after he criticised leader Kim Jong Un.
Huawei subsidiary Hisilicon said that it had long been anticipating the possibility that the firm could one day be unable to obtain chips and technology from the United States and had prepared to soften any impact.
Former US Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, called on Monday for making “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the United States as children citizens and investing in border technology.
The Federal Authority for Identify and Citizenship (ICA) has urged applicants to obtain virtual work residency permit from inside and outside the country via its website and application (ica.gov.ae) and (ICA UAE).
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced 1,520 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 679,321.
On the occasion of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the UAE Public Prosecution warned the public against revealing the names or publishing photographs of victims or witnesses involved in human trafficking cases.