Joe Biden. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thursday's Democratic debate is the perfect opportunity for 2020 candidates to pick at frontrunner Joe Biden's voting history on reproductive rights.

Driving the news: If elected, Biden says he would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law and restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other reproductive-care providers for health services other than abortion. He also no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances.

Biden's voting record as a senator illustrates how drastically his politics on abortion have changed.

  • In 1973, Biden, a Catholic, said the Supreme Court went "too far" in its Roe v. Wade decision. He now "firmly believes that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and should not be overturned,” his press secretary says, per NBC.
  • A year after Roe v. Wade's 1973 decision, Biden said a woman shouldn’t have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body.”
  • He voted against a 1977 compromise that allowed Medicaid-funded abortions, with exceptions for victims of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
  • After the rape and incest exemptions passed, Biden voted in 1981 to remove them, per NBC.
  • He also voted multiple times, including in 1983, to prevent federal employees from obtaining abortion services through their health insurance.

The latest: He flipped on the Hyde Amendment this month after 2020 rivals Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke criticized him.

Context: "Only after 1988 does Gallup consistently show more Democrats than Republicans supporting access to abortion,” Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel write in their book, "Before Roe v. Wade."

Go deeper: Where the other 2020 Democrats stand on abortion policy.

Go deeper

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Driving the news: Metrosafe, the city's emergency services, said it received reports of a shooting at South Brook St. and Broadway Ave., near the area where protests were taking place. A police spokesperson told a press briefing the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

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