Most Democratic White House hopefuls reflect their party's latest platform calling for the outright repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which traces back to a compromise made when Biden was a young
But a Biden campaign spokesman said Wednesday that the former vice president supports the measure, though he "would be open to repealing it" if abortion access is further threatened by restrictive state laws, like those recently passed in
The hedging prompted intraparty outcry, with top
Former Texas Rep.
Other presidential candidates, including
Biden's abortion views came under scrutiny recently after video emerged of a conversation between him and a
The campaign said Biden supports ending the
Biden, a Roman Catholic, has long been a supporter of the once-bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which President
That position aligns the former vice president with the man he's trying to unseat next year, President
Biden has said in the past he agrees with his church's opposition to abortion personally but doesn't think the government should impose his views on others. After the Supreme Court decided the Roe v. Wade case, Biden originally worried the decision "went too far," though he later became a staunch defender of it.
"I've stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years," he wrote in his 2007 book "Promises to Keep." ''I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding, and I'd like to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion, but I will also vote against a constitutional amendment that strips a woman of her right to make her own choice."
As a party,
Abortion rights supporters also condemned the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday.
"As abortion access is being restricted and pushed out of reach in states around the country, it is unacceptable for a candidate to support policies that further restrict abortion,"
Biden ally and California Democratic Sen.
Hawaii Democratic Sen.
"This is why there are going to be a lot of women and others who are going to be asking Biden, 'Where exactly are you on the issue of a woman's right to choose?'" Hirono said.