White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the President Joe Biden has “long” held pro-abortion policies, though Biden changed his mind on tax-payer funded abortions as recently as summer 2019.
EWTN’s Owen Jensen questioned Psaki Wednesday during a White House press briefing on whether Biden will make “any effort to reach out to pro-life Americans in his administration,” noting that Biden has revoked the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funds being used to promote abortion overseas, ordered a review of Title X, and issued a statement strongly supporting Roe v. Wade.
“Those have long been the president’s positions,” Psaki told Jensen, adding that Biden was “just restating them and delivering on promises made on the campaign trail.”
“The president will reach out to all Americans, and that is how he’s going to govern, but he talked about it in his inaugural dress and has every intention on delivering on that promise,” she continued.
Jensen asked if Biden, who Psaki previously described as a “devout Catholic,” will use his faith to guide him in policy decision making.
“He does attend church nearly every weekend,” Psaki said. “It’s important to him personally and to his family, and he’s talked about the impact of his faith on healing and everything he’s been through as a human being. Certainly it’s a guide to him as a human being.”
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is “a crime against human life,” “constitutes a grave offense” and that a person who obtains an abortion is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
Young Biden: Roe v. Wade Has Gone ‘Too Far’
Biden’s positions on abortion have changed over the course of his decades-long political career. As early as 1973, Biden said that the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade had gone “too far.” He said a year later that a woman should not have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body.”
In March 1982, Biden helped lawmakers pass an amendment to allow states to overturn Roe through the Senate Judiciary Committee — an amendment that the National Abortion Rights Action League called “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights.”
“I’m probably a victim, or a product, however you want to phrase it, of my background,” Biden said at the time, referring his Catholic faith as the reason he voted for the amendment. He added that the decision to vote for the amendment was “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.”
Biden told the Catholic Diocese Newspaper in March 1986 that “abortion is wrong from the moment of conception,” and encouraged the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in their fight against abortion, saying that the “most effective pro-life groups are those who keep trying to push back the frontier.”
“I think medical science is moving the frontier back so that by the year 2000 we’re going to have more and more pressure, and rightfully so in my view, of moving back further and further the circumstances under which an abortions can be had,” Biden told the Catholic Diocese Newspaper.
Biden In 2006: Abortion Is Not ‘A Choice And A Right’
And as recently as 2006, Biden said, “I do not view abortion as a choice and a right.”
“I think it’s always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions,” Biden said in an interview with Texas Monthly uploaded to YouTube in 2008. “There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.”
“The fact of the matter is, I’ve never known of a woman having an abortion say ‘By the way, I feel like having an abortion,” Biden said. “It’s always a tragic decision made. Always a difficult decision. And I think we should focus on how to deal with women not wanting abortion.”
Biden Flips On Taxpayer Funded Abortions In 2019
Biden supported the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions, up until 2019. His Democratic presidential primary campaign confirmed on June 5, 2019 that he still supported the amendment. The statement was greeted with strong backlash from pro-abortion groups, left-wing activists, and fellow presidential candidates.
Within 24 hours of reaffirming his support, Biden announced that he could “no longer support” the amendment. The former vice president cited attacks on abortion legislation from GOP lawmakers as a reason for his switch.
Biden now presents himself as an avid supporter of abortion access. As a candidate, he promised to codify Roe v. Wade, to require judicial nominees to support Roe as settled law, to repeal the Hyde Amendment, to require private insurers to cover contraception, to repeal the Mexico City Policy (which he has already done) to repeal the “domestic gag rule,” and preserve and protect federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to a survey conducted by the New York Times.