Biden, in 2006, said that he believed that abortion should be both "rare and safe," and suggested that "we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions."
In 2012, when running for a second term as vice president, Biden stated during the vice presidential debate that his personal social doctrine has been "particularly informed" by his Catholic faith.
"With regard to abortion, I accept my Church's position that life begins at conception," said Biden. "That's the Church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and--I just refuse to impose that on others."
The 2016 Democratic Platform included, for the first time, a plank in its platform pledging to overturn the Hyde Amendment.
By 2019, Biden, defending himself against Sen. Kamala Harris during a Democratic presidential candidate debate, stated that he believed abortion to be a "constitutional right."
"I've supported it and I will continue to support it and I will, in fact, move as president to see to it that the Congress legislates that that is the laws as well," said Biden.
Biden, who has made his Catholicism a campaign issue, has clashed repeatedly with Church authorities over his growing support for abortion.
In October 2019, he was refused Communion at a Catholic church in South Carolina. The priest denied Biden Communion in accord with a 2004 diocesan policy that prohibits politicians who have been supportive of legal protection for abortion from receiving the Eucharist.
"Catholic public officials who consistently support abortion on demand are cooperating with evil in a public manner. By supporting pro-abortion legislation they participate in manifest grave sin, a condition which excludes them from admission to Holy Communion as long as they persist in the pro-abortion stance," says a 2004 decree signed jointly by the bishops of Atlanta, Charleston, and Charlotte.
At the time Biden was denied Communion, his website stated that one of his priorities as president would be to "work to codify Roe v. Wade" into federal law, and that "his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion," including laws requiring waiting periods, ultrasounds, and parental notification of a minor's abortion.
"Vice president Biden supports repealing the Hyde Amendment because healthcare is a right that should not be dependent on one's zip code or income," said his website.
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More recently, Biden has vowed to overturn religious freedom protections and force the Little Sisters of the Poor and similar groups to provide contraception, sterilizations, and abortifacients through employee health coverage.
Earlier this month, following a Supreme Court ruling upholding an executive order by the Trump administration providing conscience protections for the so-called contraceptive mandate, Biden expressed his "disappointment" in the court's decision and disagreement with the exemption for the sisters, adding that there is "a clear path to fixing it: electing a new president."