Has Biden U-Turned on His Abortion Rights Stance?
The Supreme Court refused on Wednesday to overturn the Texas law preventing women from getting an abortion after an embryo’s cardiac impulses can be detected with an ultrasound which usually happens as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Joe Biden described the law as “un-American”.
US President Joe Biden indicated a possible change of stance when he said on Friday that he respected people who believe that human life begins at conception, although he was quick to add that he didn't agree with them.
Biden made the remark after a White House reporter asked him if he would send a message to women in Texas, where a controversial 'Heartbeat Act' came into law this week.
“I am a strong supporter of Roe v Wade, number one,” Biden replied, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which defends a woman’s right to abortion.
“The most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system… I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American, what we are talking about.”
But the president then added that he was not going to impose his views on other people.
“I respect people… who don’t support Roe v Wade. I respect their views. I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all, I respect that. Don’t agree, but I respect that.”
News outlets, such as the Daily Caller, were quick to point out that back in 2015, Biden, while he was vice-president, held quite different views.
Speaking to Father Matt Malone in an interview for America Media, Biden claimed that he was “prepared to accept that the moment of conception is a human life and being”.
He admitted that he was not prepared to push his beliefs on people who “have a different view”, and he added that his stance was not "rigid".
And only a few years before, he said in a 2012 vice-presidential debate that as a practising Roman Catholic he accepted his church’s position on abortion.
“Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life,” Biden argued.
It seems that either his position has changed with time or that he is totally flexible about the question.
On Thursday, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s pro-abortion stance when she told Owen Jensen, the White House correspondent for Roman Catholic news network EWTN, that the US President believes that it was “up to a woman to make those decisions” despite his faith.
On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court refused to block the Texas anti-abortion law that banned terminations after about six weeks of pregnancy, an approximate time when electrical impulses in the place of a fetus’ future heart can be detected.
The law would permit private citizens to sue abortion providers and those “aiding and abetting” such procedures would be entitled to a $10,000 if their lawsuit is successful.
An anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life also launched a website encouraging users to report suspected violators of the law anonymously to support the effort.