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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

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."