Joe Biden on Thursday reversed his longstanding opposition to public funding of abortions, saying that the successful Republican nationwide “assault” on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy forced him to change his mind.
The former vice president and current Democratic front-runner for president, said that his about-face during the election cycle came as GOP-controlled states this year began restricting the procedure and phasing out abortion clinics — a move that left women without access to a doctor to end their pregnancies.
He made the surprise announcement at the start of a speech during the Democratic National Committee’s gala in Atlanta, which was devoted more to voting rights and minority empowerment than abortion.
“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 Thursday. “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.”