The DNC draft platform also opposes private school vouchers as part of "policies that divert taxpayer-funded resources away from the public school system." In some states, like Wisconsin, Catholic schools have been some of the beneficiaries of the state's expansion of private school vouchers.
On marriage, Biden supported the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s, but in 2012 said he was "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage; his comments as vice president in an election year prodded President Obama to announce his support for same-sex marriage days later. As Vice President, Biden himself officiated at a same-sex wedding ceremony for two White House staffers in 2016.
Regarding abortion, the 2020 DNC platform builds upon the 2016 platform that one former Obama campaign staffer characterized was "extreme." In 2016, Michael Wear, director of faith outreach for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, told CNA that the party's abortion stance was "morally reprehensible."
A group of Democratic public officials at the federal, state, and local levels wrote to the members of the platform committee on August 14, saying the support for late-term abortion will "push many voters into the arms of the Republican Party," as many pro-lifers "are single-issue voters."
The platform declares that "every woman" should have access to "safe and legal abortion" and that abortion, as part of comprehensive health care, is "vital to the empowerment of women and girls."
It calls for a restoration of federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and taxpayer-funded abortion through repeal of the Hyde and Helms Amendments as well as the Mexico City Policy.
Biden's own record of abortion advocacy as a six-term U.S. senator and vice president is well-known. He has taken a variety of positions on the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and on taxpayer-funded abortion over the years, but as the party's nominee he supports the codification of Roe and the repeal of protections against taxpayer-funded abortion, in line with the party's 2020 draft platform.
Biden announced in June of 2019 that he would support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment; when challenged over his previous votes for Hyde by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden said at a debate in March that "if we're going to have public funding for all healthcare along the line, there is no way you could allow for there to be a requirement that you have Hyde Amendment."
At that debate, Biden promised, if elected president, to "send immediately to the desk of the United States Congress (...), a codification of Roe v Wade amended by Casey." The Supreme Court's Roe decision in 1973 allowed for legal abortion except in cases of the viability of the baby, and the 1992 Casey decision established an updated legal framework for determining the constitutionality of state abortion regulations.
During his time in the Senate, Biden has taken a variety of positions on abortion, including voting for legislation that included the Hyde Amendment.
He said in 1974 that the Roe decision "went too far," and in 1981 supported a constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn Roe; in the next year, however, he voted against such an amendment.
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In a 2008 interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Biden said Roe is "as close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours." His 2020 campaign platform calls for the codification of Roe v. Wade as federal law, and would ensure, as part of a health care "public option," coverage of "a woman's constitutional right to choose."