Washington, D.C. - Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) is disappointed that Vice President Joe Biden changed his position on the bi-partisan Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion unless a pregnancy is a result of rape or incest or is done to save the life of the mother.
“We are extremely disappointed that Vice President Biden choose to cave to the pressure of the abortion lobby instead of standing with a majority of Americans who support the Hyde Amendment,” said Kristen Day, the executive director of DFLA. “With all the major candidates fighting to be the most extreme on abortion, there is a wide open lane for a candidate to bring an alternative position to the discussion and to unify Democrats around common ground principles.”
The Hyde Amendment was signed into law in 1977 by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, with the support of almost half of the Democratic legislators in the U.S. Congress. Today, 58% of Americans still oppose federal funding of abortion (2016 Politico/Harvard (Chan School) Poll)
“As pro-life Democrats, we would like to see the focus on support for mothers to make abortion rare,” said Day. “We believe that our Democratic Party can and should find common ground along those lines. Considering the large number of poor women who believe that abortion is their only choice, paying for abortion and not focusing on alternatives does not coincide with our Democratic values.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, most women (75 percent) who seek abortions are living in poverty. Yet polls indicate that that same demographic – the 75 percent of women who seek abortions and are living in poverty -- opposes public funds to pay for abortion. According to the 2016 Politico/Harvard (Chan School) Poll, "Voters making more than $75,000 were more supportive of using Medicaid funds for abortion services (45% favor) than those making $25,000 or less (24% favor)."
“As Democrats, we advocate for equal opportunity and equality,” said Day. “Poor women don’t want money for abortions; they want the same opportunities to parent as their rich counterparts. We believe that the Democratic 2020 candidates should move the debate from abortion-access to how are we going to provide low-income women with the same opportunities and a real choice?”