Joe Biden is no longer out of step with his Democratic rivals on the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions. Biden—whose campaign said as recently as Wednesday that he still supports the measure—announced Thursday that he now wants to end the amendment that he defended for decades, CNN reports. At a Democratic National Committee event in Atlanta Thursday night, Biden said he has had a change of heart because of the "extreme laws" Republicans in states like Georgia have brought in to limit women's access to abortions. "If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code," he said.
"Folks, times have changed," Biden said, per the New York Times. "I don’t think these guys are going to let up." He said he had been "working through the finer details" of his health care plan, and was" struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents." When it was introduced in 1976, the amendment's only exception was when the woman's life was in danger. Bill Clinton broadened it in 1994 to includes cases of rape or incest. Rivals including Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke criticized Biden Wednesday over his support of the amendment. After he reversed his position, Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen tweeted: "Happy to see Joe Biden embrace what we have long known to be true: Hyde blocks people—particularly women of color and women with low incomes—from accessing safe, legal abortion care." (Read more Joe Biden stories.)