The big picture: Biden has been a longtime supporter of the amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances. Abortion rights have become an increasingly divisive topic for Democratic presidential hopefuls following a series of recent abortion bans in Red states.
Biden's campaign confirmed his support of the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday before he backpedaled on his decades-long support. Other 2020 Democrats used Biden's original stance to attack the front-runner, and position themselves as contenders.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Biden was wrong for supporting the congressional ban at an MSNBC town hall earlier in the week.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Tex.) also described Biden's abortion stance as "absolutely wrong."
What he's saying: Biden says at a time when Republicans are "are denying the poorest and vulnerable Americans," he can't rationalize supporting the amendment any longer, per NBC. He also said he only supported the amendment because he believed there was wide enough access to abortions without government support, per AP.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment” that makes it more difficult for some women to access health care."