He said recent extreme abortion legislation had prompted him to change his stance.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the health care they need. ... If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support [the amendment],” he said.
After former Vice President Joe Biden reiterated his support for the Hyde Amendment earlier this week, other 2020 presidential contenders ― including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) ― responded by insisting it needs to be repealed.
The Hyde Amendment generally bars the use of federal funding to pay for abortion procedures. Advocates for repeal say the provision disproportionately hurts low-income women who rely on government-funded Medicaid for their health care, including abortion services.
Biden appears to stand alone among the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential candidates in supporting such a ban on federal funding for abortions. It’s worth noting that though Biden is the only one saying directly that he’s against repealing the Hyde Amendment, variations of the measure have repeatedly been enacted as part of larger appropriations bills ever since the first version was passed in the mid-1970s. Several other Democratic candidates have voted for broader legislative packages that included that language ― such as a 2018 appropriations bill that Sens. Gillibrand, Harris, Warren, Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) voted for, per the Week.
Here’s where the field stands on repealing Hyde:
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) called the Hyde Amendment ”federally sanctioned discrimination″ and said it is “wrong and should be overturned immediately.”
Biden’s campaign told HuffPost this week that the former senator and vice president “has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment.” Biden voted in favor of the original measure as a senator in 1976.
His campaign added that the provision “does not prevent organizations in the U.S. that provide lifesaving health care services for women from receiving the federal funding they need” and noted it now includes exceptions for when the life of the mother is at risk or in cases of rape or incest.
Booker tweeted Wednesday that the Hyde Amendment is “a threat to reproductive rights that punishes women and families who already struggle with access to adequate health care services.”
Speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s African-American Leadership Summit on Thursday, he also called it “an assault on African American women.”
At a campaign event in Iowa late last month, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) said the Hyde Amendment “should be repealed.”
At an MSNBC town hall on Monday, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg called for repealing the Hyde Amendment and said he would appoint judges who “share my view that freedom includes the freedom to make decisions about your own body.”
Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary, tweeted in May that it was “long past time to repeal the Hyde amendment and make abortion care available to all women ― not just those who can afford it.”
Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came at fellow 2020 contender Biden on Wednesday, saying on Twitter: “If you don’t support repeal, you shouldn’t be the Democratic nominee.”
In an interview with NowThis News on Wednesday, former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) said, “I think women should have access to legal abortion care, and the Hyde Amendment kind of gets in the way of that for a lot of women.” Delaney’s team confirmed to HuffPost on Thursday that he supports a repeal of Hyde.
ThinkProgress reported in April that the campaign of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) was among those that told the outlet they supported using federal dollars to pay for abortion services. HuffPost reached out to Gabbard’s campaign to confirm she would support a repeal of Hyde, but they did not immediately respond.
“Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women in particular can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve,” Gillibrand tweeted on Wednesday. “Reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats.”
Harris called again for repealing the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday, saying on Twitter that “no woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has.”
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) tweeted on Wednesday that Hyde should be revealed and that the ban “actively harms women by limiting access and choice.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) noted that he voted against Hyde as a congressman in 1993 and said in a tweet Wednesday: “It was wrong then and it is wrong now.”
Klobuchar has co-sponsored legislation overturning the ban on federal funding for abortions, along with fellow female senators and 2020 candidates Warren, Harris and Gillibrand.
The mayor of Miramar, Florida, reportedly told ThinkProgress in April that he supported using federal dollars to pay for abortion services. HuffPost reached out to Wayne Messam’s team to confirm that he’d repeal Hyde, but did not immediately receive a response.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) tweeted on Thursday that the Hyde Amendment was “bad policy” and he doesn’t support it.
O’Rourke tweeted a video of himself at an event in May calling for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, “to make sure that every woman, especially those who may be dependent on government support for their health care, are able to lawfully access an abortion.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) has said he is against abortion bans and supports a repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement to the media on Thursday that he has “consistently voted against” the Hyde Amendment and that he would “eliminate” it if he became president.
“If we believe that a woman has the constitutional right to control her own body, that right must apply to ALL women, including low-income women,” Sanders said.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tweeted Wednesday that the next president “must fight” to repeal the Hyde Amendment, saying: “We can’t live in the past when it comes to women’s health.”
At an MSNBC town hall on Wednesday, Warren slammed the abortion funding restriction as an attack on underprivileged women that had been “wrong for a long time.”
“Here’s how I look at this: I’ve lived in an America where abortions were illegal. And understand this: Women still got abortions,” Warren told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “Understand this: women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won’t will be poor women.”
Activist Marianne Williamson’s campaign told HuffPost that she “would end the Hyde Amendment.”
The campaign of entrepreneur Andrew Yang confirmed to HuffPost on Thursday that he supports a repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
This article has been updated with confirmation from Delaney’s team and Biden’s change in stance on the Hyde Amendment.