Actress Alyssa Milano, an outspoken women's rights advocate and friend of Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE, reportedly urged the former vice president to reverse his stance on the Hyde Amendment after he reaffirmed his decades-long support for the ban on federal funding for abortions.
The Atlantic reported Friday that Milano spoke with campaign manager Greg Schultz over the phone on Wednesday, telling him that Biden needed to change his stance on the controversial amendment.
CNN reported Friday that Biden heard directly from Milano encouraging him to reverse his position on the issue.
Pressure from both inside and outside Joe Biden's campaign, including an appeal from Alyssa Milano, led Biden to conclude he had to reconsider his position on the Hyde Amendment, according to campaign officials with direct knowledge of the discussions. https://t.co/pnGHm67sTt pic.twitter.com/p6pHPMKxQe— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) June 7, 2019
Biden's campaign sparked controversy on Wednesday after reaffirming his decades-long support for the Hyde Amendment. The news sparked intense backlash from members of his party, including fellow presidential hopefuls, who criticized Biden for maintaining his stance amid a spate of abortion restrictions passing state legislatures.
The vice president then made a sharp U-turn on the issue one day later during a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta, saying he no longer supported the amendment.
"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. "I can't justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right."
Milano celebrated Biden's reversal after he announced his position Thursday.
"@JoeBiden just came out saying, after listening to women in the last 24 hrs, he WILL repeal the Hyde Amendment. I repeat, Joe Biden just came out against the Hyde Amendment. Thanks, Joe. For listening to the American people. And thank you to the women who raised their voices," she said.
.@JoeBiden just came out saying, after listening to women in the last 24 hrs, he WILL repeal the Hyde Amendment. I repeat, Joe Biden just came out against the Hyde Amendment.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 7, 2019
Thanks, Joe. For listening to the American people. And thank you to the women who raised their voices. pic.twitter.com/O304t9cANV
The Hyde Amendment was first passed more than 40 years ago in response to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a woman’s right to abortion. It’s been reauthorized in annual government spending bills ever since, barring Medicaid, Medicare and other federal health programs from paying for abortions.
Opponents of the ban say it disproportionately impacts low-income women, particularly women of color.
Biden's support for the 40-year ban was a departure from the position of the Democratic National Committee and every Democrat running for president.