Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Joe Biden’s new position on the Hyde Amendment:
Joe Biden can get away with his penchant for gaffes, but he will never get away with his newly decided opposition to the Hyde Amendment. For decades, his pro-abortion stance drew a line in the sand when it came to forcing the taxpayers to pay for abortions. That line is now gone. This is Joe Biden’s biggest blunder.
To begin with, Biden blundered morally: mandating that the public pay for the killing of unborn babies (at any time of gestation and for any reason) is obscene.
He also blundered by being dishonest. He was right to say that “circumstances have changed,” but he was dishonest when he blamed Republicans for his historic flip flop. As everyone knows, Biden gave in to pressure from the pro-abortion industry and activists in his Party.
It is the Democrats that have changed. There was a time, not long ago, when Democrats who were abortion-rights advocates balked when it came to partial-birth abortion and taxpayer-funded abortions.
New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and New York City Mayor Ed Koch, both Democrats, refused to go that far. Yet they never paid a political price for doing so. But “circumstances have changed,” and now the abortion zealots have taken full control of the Democratic Party; they will punish anyone who disagrees with them.
Biden has also blundered politically. While his decision to fold may win the plaudits of the activists in his Party, his embrace of the extremist positions on abortion runs against the grain of the country. When it comes to the general election, Biden will lose on this issue. Just ask Hillary Clinton. Her defense of partial-birth abortion cost her big time.
The public has no appetite for pro-abortion extremism. In October 2016, a survey published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that only 36% of likely voters favored Medicaid funding of abortion; 58% were opposed.
The year before, a survey commissioned by the Catholic League found that 61% of Catholics were pro-life. Perhaps even more important, of those who were in the abortion-rights camp, only 5% said that abortion should be allowed for any reason and at any time.
There is another reason, having nothing to do with abortion, why Biden blundered politically. It makes him look weak. One of the reasons why President Trump continues to draw support from Independents is his leadership credentials—he is fearless.
Now look what happened to Beto O’Rourke. He started out just fine, then crashed (his support stands at 3% today). Why? After he broke hard from the gate, all he did was apologize for at least a week. That’s not leadership.
Biden’s blunder on abortion shows no leadership. He had a chance to distinguish himself from his competitors—on an issue where the public would have had his back—but he blew it. Now he is just another pro-abortion Democrat, of a militant stripe.