Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday for reversing his stance on the Hyde Amendment, The Hill reported.
“Biden should’ve just plagiarized his position from Planned Parenthood’s website from the start like he’s been doing for his other policy positions,” McDaniel wrote, referencing allegations that Biden’s campaign lifted parts of his climate and education plans from other sources.
Biden said Thursday he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, just one day after reaffirming his decades-long support for the ban on federal funding for abortions.
“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,” he said at a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta.
Biden cited abortion restrictions recently passed by Republican governors for his change in position.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” he added.
Biden campaign aides told The Hill on Wednesday that the former vice president supported the amendment. His position, first reported by NBC News, sparked a wave of outrage among other Democratic presidential contenders and abortion rights advocates who criticized Biden for maintaining his stance amid a spate of new abortion restrictions.
The Hyde Amendment was first passed more than 40 years ago in response to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a woman’s right to abortion. It’s been reauthorized in annual government spending bills ever since, barring Medicaid, Medicare and other federal health programs from paying for abortions.
Biden’s campaign was also rocked by allegations this week that the former vice president may have lifted passages from another source in putting together his education and climate plans.
The Biden campaign said they inadvertently left citations off some passages of its climate report, adding that the proposal was updated to include proper citations. The two incidents appear to have been due to staff errors as the campaign team rushed to put out policy proposals, The Washington Post reported.