Biden says he doesn't see abortion 'as a choice and a right' in unearthed 2006 video

Biden says he doesn't see abortion 'as a choice and a right' in unearthed 2006 video
© Greg Nash

A resurfaced 2006 interview by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden faces do-or-die primary in South Carolina Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll Karl Rove: 'Long way to go' for Sanders to capture nomination: 'The field is splintered' MORE may again put his views on abortion under scrutiny in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

An interview Biden gave ahead of his 2008 run — unearthed by CNN's KFile on Thursday and later reported on by The New York Times — shows the current Democratic front-runner signaling support for Roe v. Wade but not full-blown support for abortion as a "choice and a right."


"I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that," Biden said in the interview with Texas Monthly.

Biden adds that abortion is "always a tragic decision made" and the focus should be on "how to deal with women not wanting abortions."

In the interview from 13 years ago, Biden called himself the "odd man out" in his party for his views.

He again found himself singled out in the 2020 primary last week as the sole candidate supporting the Hyde Amendment, which limits government funding for abortion care and critics say blocks access to abortion for low-income women. 

Biden switched his position a day later after facing public pushback, saying he "can no longer" support the amendment. 

In 2006, Biden said his views "made everybody angry."

"I made the right-to-life people angry because I won't support a constitutional amendment or limitations on a woman's right to exercise her constitutional right as defined by Roe v. Wade. And I've made the groups, the women's groups and others, very angry because I won't support public funding and I won't support partial birth abortion," he said, according to CNN's report.  

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Progressives have called him out on his extensive record, which is in some cases more conservative than those of the candidates trailing him.