Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took aim at fellow presidential candidate Joe Biden’s support of the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday, slamming 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,” said Warren, speaking to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes at a town hall-style forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Now, some got lucky on what happened, and some got really unlucky on what happened. But the bottom line is they were there.”
Warren’s comments come after the former vice president’s 2020 campaign on Wednesday clarified that he still stands behind the Hyde Amendment, a law that since 1976 has prohibited federal funding from going toward most abortion procedures. Critics say the provision unduly targets low-income women who rely on government-funded Medicaid for their health care.
Many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have proposed repealing the Hyde Amendment, particularly after many states around the nation have moved to dramatically restrict access to abortion, including recent efforts in Alabama and Georgia.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter that repealing the amendment was “critical,” noting that reproductive rights should be “nonnegotiable for all Democrats.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declared there was “#NoMiddleGround” on abortion rights and said he would work to repeal Hyde. And Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said no woman should be limited in her access to health care based on “how much money she has.”
Hayes asked Warren if she believed Biden was wrong to continue to support Hyde, which he voted for in 1976. She replied, “Yes.”
“Understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won’t will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can’t afford to take off three days from work, will be very young women who have been raped, will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family,” Warren said. “We do not pass laws to take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.”
She added: “It’s been the law for a while, and it’s been wrong for a long time.”
Warren has been rising in the polls in recent weeks, thanks in part to her detailed policy proposals on a bevy of topics, including climate change, student debt and universal child care.
During the event in Indiana, the senator from Massachusetts also took aim at President Donald Trump, saying she still believed impeachment proceedings should begin against him.
“If he were any other person in the United States, based on that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs,” she said. “Now, I took an oath of office, not to Donald Trump, not to any president, I took an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States of America, and that Constitution says no one is above the law.”