Joe Biden

Biden Bashes Abortion, Defends Religious Freedom

The vice president told Catholic magazine America that abortion is "always wrong" but he respects that not everyone believes the same.


America magazine

Vice President Joe Biden told the Catholic magazine America that "abortion is always wrong," but he accepts that there are "God-fearing (and) non-God-fearing people that have a different view" and doesn't wish to impose his religious views on them. Biden sat down with the magazine for an interview about Pope Francis' visit to Washington, whether the pope should stay out of politics, and how Biden's own Catholic faith influences his views. 

"I'm prepared to accept as a matter of faith" (the Catholic position) on abortion," said the vice president, "but what I'm not prepared to do is to impose a rigid view—a precise view, rigid sounds pejorative—a precise view that is born out of my faith on other people who are equally God-­fearing, equally as committed to life, equally as committed to the sanctity of life. I'm prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there's human life and being, but I'm not prepared to say that to other God­-fearing, non-­God­fearing people that have a different view." 

"Abortion is always wrong," Biden continued, "but there's been debate, and so there's, for me… I'm not prepared to impose (Catholic) doctrine that I'm prepared to accept" on everyone else. 

A new poll shows Biden, who still hasn't said he's running for president, has the support of 25 percent of registered Democrats—not too far behind frontrunner Hillary Clinton (33 percent) and just ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (24 percent).

Statements like "abortion is always wrong" could hurt Biden with women in the party, especially if the Clinton campaign decides to run with them. Female Democrats already lean overwhelmingly toward Clinton, with 50 percent of female respondents supporting her in a national poll from August (compared to just 38 percent of the male Democrats polled). But Biden's position on abortion—that it's immoral but should still be legal—also hews closely to the view espoused by many millennials on abortion. And millennial women have so far been the least susceptible to Clinton's alleged charms, which may make them a good demographic grab for either Clinton-opponent looking to boost support among Democrat women.