Speed Reads

Abortion Debate

Joe Biden's middle-of-the-road stance on abortion rights could be a problem for Democratic voters

Former Vice President Joe Biden, an early frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has held an evolving stance on abortion rights for most of his career. A devout Roman Catholic, Biden has said in the past that he is personally opposed to abortion, but does not believe he should impose his religious beliefs on others. Therefore, he supports upholding Roe v. Wade, which he reconfirmed on Tuesday — perhaps a crucial thing to tell Democratic voters as several Republican-led states have passed strict abortion laws in recent weeks, sparking outrage from those who oppose them.

Biden's campaign team also confirmed to NBC News, however, that the candidate still supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger, or in the cases of rape and incest. This differentiates Biden from his Democratic competition, NBC News reports, who are more staunchly pro-choice — every female Senator running for president has come out in favor of overturning Hyde, and no other candidate has openly supported keeping it intact.

The middle-of-the-road stance could ultimately prove to be an issue for Biden — within the span of just one month, a Morning Consult poll shows that the number of Democrats prioritizing issues affecting women, which includes matters such as contraception and abortion rights, has grown by eight percent.

The Morning Consult conducted its poll online between May 31 and June 2 among a national sample of 1,997 registered voters. The margin of error is two percentage points. Read more about Biden's stance on abortion rights at NBC News.