VP nominee Tim Kaine says he supports the Hyde Amendment after all

Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., waves with his wife Anne Holton during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., waves with his wife Anne Holton during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine still supports the ban on using federal money to pay for abortion known as the Hyde Amendment. The clarification comes after days of uncertainty about where the Catholic candidate stood on the ban—and puts him at odds with his party’s official position.

"I have been for the Hyde Amendment,” Kaine told CNN on Friday. “And I have not changed my position on that.”

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For the first time in party history, Democrats voted to include in its platform that they are against the 40-year-old ban, which prohibits Medicaid from reimbursing doctors for abortion, except in cases where the woman’s life is in danger, rape or incest. White House nominee Hillary Clinton has said she supports overturning the ban as well.

RELATED: What is the Hyde Amendment and Why Does it Matter?

Earlier this week, the Clinton campaign said that Kaine supports all of Clinton’s goals, including its opposition to the Hyde Amendment. That statement came a couple weeks after Kaine told a reporter that he still supported the Hyde Amendment, and he seemed surprised to hear that the party platform called for repealing it.

"I have traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment, but I'll check it out,” he told The Weekly Standard July 6.

Following Kaine’s selection by Clinton, her campaign told reporters that the Virginia senator had privately told Clinton he is on board with repealing the amendment, leading to criticism from some pro-life Democrats.

In an editorial published Thursday, the editors of America called on Kaine to support the Hyde Amendment.

“By abandoning it, he is not only supporting a significant increase in the number of abortions but also signaling to pro-life Democrats that the party does not have room even for ‘personal opposition’ to abortion,” it read. “Beyond the direct injustice to the unborn, his shift also undermines even the limited common ground on abortion and leaves our politics worse off by far.”

Kaine has described himself as personally against abortion, and as governor of Virginia, he signed some bills supported by pro-life advocates. But in the U.S. Senate, Kaine’s voting record earned a perfect score by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

(Update: Just hours after Kaine’s comments, the head of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, Tweeted that the Hyde Amendment “must end.”)

Speaking to CNN earlier this month, Kaine was asked if he is “pro-life,” to which he said, “I've never embraced labels."

"I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn't intrude," he continued. "I'm a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don't need to make people's reproductive decisions for them."

RELATED: VP Pick Sen. Tim Kaine Seeks to Balance Catholic Faith with Democratic Politics

Kaine’s comments come the day after Clinton accepted her party’s nomination for the presidency, becoming the first woman to lead the ticket of a major party.

During his own nomination acceptance speech Wednesday, Kaine spoke about the importance of his Catholic faith and his connections to the Jesuits, which includes time volunteering at a Jesuit school in Honduras. 

Michael O’Loughlin is the national correspondent for America. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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Kevin Murray
2 years ago
Sadly, the Democratic Party has embraced unlimited abortion on demand as a centerpiece of its platform. It thus ignores the deeply held feelings of many of its members. For a party that uses slogans like "all lives matter" this is incongruous at best. Apparently one's rights don't begin until birth. Bravo to Senator Kaine for holding fast to his convictions.
michael iwanowicz
2 years ago
And, how does Kaine support Clinton and the DNC platform with his personal belief ....
Chuck Kotlarz
2 years ago
The plot thickens. The total abortion rate decline during Clinton and Obama (through 2012) presidencies has been nearly three times greater (30%) than the total decline of the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies (11%). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_statistics_in_the_United_States
Crystal Watson
2 years ago
The Hyde Amendment discriminates against poor women and minority women. Maybe if enough people complain, Hillary still has time to swap him out.
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
Evidently, Donald Trump has no monopoly on coded words. Promoting abortion to fight poverty is pushing for eugenics with a hypocritical mask of social justice. Such recipe is destroying the black population in the United States, far more than gun violence. Behind Hillary's fake smiles is a hardcore promoter of the culture of death: abortion, warfare and exploitation by the mega-banks. She can't run away from her record. With respect to your proposition of Hillary dropping Kaine, well, I think she already has her hands full trying to deflect blame from the newest scandal of her making (yes, yet another): the rigged Democrat primary contest. The furious Sanders' supporters will not be as easy to win over than the dishonorable Senator from Vermont.
Crystal Watson
2 years ago
Poverty and the control over when you have children are linked. Why do you think the Philippines has both one of the highest birth rates and also the most poverty? Why do you think the pope made his "breeding like rabbits" statement after visiting there?
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
Let's not mix the wolves with the sheep. Nobody is promoting irresponsible reproduction. Pope Francis is no exception and has reiterated traditional Catholic teaching on the subject. But when Planned Parenthood, with its historic ties to eugenics and racism, says it wants to fight poverty trough abortion, we should all feel a cold, cold shiver.
Crystal Watson
2 years ago
*** Karen Finney, a senior Clinton campaign spokeswoman who is also working with Kaine, said he would keep his personal views but also support a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for abortion. "As Tim Kaine has said, while he supports the Hyde Amendment, he has also made it clear that he is fully committed to Hillary Clinton's policy agenda, which he understands includes repeal of Hyde," said Finney, who has previously worked as Clinton's senior spokeswoman. *** http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/29/politics/tim-kaine-hyde-amendment-abortion/
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
Yes, quite clearly the "Catholic" Senator Kaine selling his soul to the devil. Politics above principles. Nothing new.
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
"Following Kaine’s selection by Clinton, her campaign told reporters that the Virginia senator had privately told Clinton he is on board with repealing the amendment, leading to criticism from some pro-life Democrats." Wow. The Clinton political machine roasted Senator Kaine and put him in his place. Time to shut up and follow orders, Timmie. Just keep repeating the script of your "Catholic" faith, your stay in Honduras and how great Her Crookedness is. On a related subject, whatever happened to the journalistic following on the RIGGED Democrat primary process Wikileaks exposed? That was, by far, the biggest news during the Hillary coronation week. Not a single article. Not one! Just because Senator Sanders signed a book deal and jumped ship on the revolution does not mean it's a non-issue for real voters.
William Rydberg
2 years ago
After all those years fighting for Planned Parenthood, his "Jesuit" schooling and latent Jesuit Catholic "Social Justice" kicks in. HAH !
Crystal Watson
2 years ago
Today in the news - four cases of the Zika virus in Florida. What will happen when poor pregnant women in the US contract Zika but are unable to get an abortion if needed because of the Hyde Amendment?
William Rydberg
2 years ago
Actually that is the solution employed by Communists. No doubt, this approach harmonizes... Hope that you are enjoying your short time on the top of the "food chain". Don't weaken, lest the infirmity of old unproductive to society age catch up on you As for us Catholics, while we love this world, we know that judgement and reward follows death... For everybody... But why would that bother, having an alternative plan? Finally, if you are so moved, read this article from yesterday's Canadian National paper and get a sense of what it means to reap the Abortlon whirlwind http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/health/mount-sinai-hospitals-refusal-to-eliminate-one-fetus-from-twin-pregnancy-triggers-human-rights-battle-in-toronto&pubdate=2016-07-30
Robert Killoren
2 years ago
The Declaration of Independence on which our country was founded declares the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Founding Fathers stated these in priority order. Your right to pursue happiness cannot violate my right to life or liberty. Your right to liberty cannot supersede my right to life. It is wrong for any government, which adopts this principle of guaranteeing these inalienable rights, to legalize abortions on the basis of a woman's pursuit of happiness or her perceived liberty "to do what she wants with her own body." The right to life is paramount. We as Catholics are called to defend life at all stages. However, we are also Catholics living in a democracy. Thus, we can only do the best we can to protect life within the laws of the country. This does not include standing on the sidelines cursing those who do not believe what we believe or besmirching their reputations or, as some have done, physically attacking or even killing opponents or destroying property. Disagree -- Yes. Vote the way your conscience tells you -- Yes. Work within the political system to change the law - most definitely, Yes! The major obstacle for us is that the Supreme Court has taken a stance contrary to right judgment and contrary to the Declaration of Independence. It has also wrongly interpreted the Constitution. But unfortunately, Roe v. Wade is now deeply entrenched in legal precedent, the country is about evenly divided on the issue of abortion, and no one really knows a good way to enforce a law against abortion while protecting the lives of women who choose to or who are forced to terminate their pregnancy. Under these circumstances one must work for an amendment to the Constitution affirming what is already in the Declaration of Independence, by praying and trying to change the minds and hearts of those who support abortions. While doing this we should vote for candidates who best reflect the complete spectrum of issues dealing with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness covered by the Church's teachings on social justice and U.S. bishops' teaching on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." It is wise to remember the old saying, "Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." The people of God need dialogue not name-calling, working to find common ground and pursuing means to achieve our goals that are practically within reach that move our country and its people in the direction of protecting life at all stages. As U.S. citizens we also cannot focus so much on Life as to ignore Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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