August 23, 2008
Biden's Abortion Record -- Pro-Choice Centrist
Below is a collection of the ratings of Joe Biden by various abortion-related groups.
Here's the bottom line: Biden is a pro-choice centrist on abortion. What does that mean? He votes consistently with the pro-choice forces on most matters, and is a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade -- but he departed from pro-choice orthodoxy on two of the biggest abortion issues:
--Unlike Obama, he opposes federal funding for abortion, arguing that has pro-choice views should not be imposed on others. "I still am opposed to public funding for abortion," he said on Meet the Press in 2007. "It goes to the question of whether or not you're going to impose a view to support something that is not a guaranteed right but an affirmative action to promote."
--Unlike Obama, he voted for the ban on late term abortions.
On most other issues - stem cell research, banning abortions on military bases, etc - Biden supported the pro-choice position.
Now for the ratings:
Biden got a 60% rating from the National Abortion Right Action League in 2007 and a 36 in 2003. (NARAL's ratings for Biden are very confusing. One part of the website lists him as having a 60% rating, another part says he has a 75% rating but was absent for five of the six votes. ) In 2006 he apparently got a 100% .
The National Right to Life Committee gives him a consistent zero.
Democrats for Life gives him a 33%
In earlier years, he got lower ratings from the pro-choice groups and higher ratings from the pro life groups, for instance , he got 34% in 1997 from NARAL and a 41% from the National Right to Life Committee.
This article is cross-posted from Steve Waldman's blog at Beliefnet.