By BILL BARROW / The Associated Press
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
ATLANTA — After two days of intense criticism, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reversed course Thursday and declared that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.
“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 care, Biden said at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta.
The former vice president’s reversal on the Hyde Amendment came after rivals and women’s rights groups blasted him for affirming through campaign aides that he still supported the decades-old budget provision. The dynamics had been certain to flare up again at Democrats’ first primary debate in three weeks.
Biden didn’t mention this week’s attacks, saying his decision was about health care, not politics. Yet the circumstances highlight the risks for a 76-year-old former vice president who’s running as more of a centrist in a party in which some skeptical activists openly question whether he can be the party standard-bearer in 2020.
And Biden’s explanation tacitly repeated his critics’…