The actor Alyssa Milano played a central role in former Vice President Biden abandoning his 40 years of opposition to government funded abortion.
Biden’s advisers were reportedly encouraging the shift, anticipating blowback from the party’s more activist wing over Biden's support of the Hyde Amendment, which currently prohibits taxpayer money from funding abortion.
The Atlantic reports that, “Symone Sanders, one of Biden’s senior advisers, confronted him, she confirmed to me Thursday night, telling Biden that he was missing how his position disproportionately affected poor women and women of color without easy access to abortion. Alyssa Milano, the actor who’s become a major online presence on issues of women’s rights as well as a friend of the Biden team, spoke by phone Wednesday with Biden’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz, telling him that the candidate needed to change. More calls came in, more tough conversations.”
Milano was one of the first to tweet her appreciation after Biden announced his sudden reversal on the Hyde Amendment:
In the 40 years leading up to Milano’s call, Biden had stridently supported the Hyde Amendment, inlcuding up until this week.
In 2007, Biden told Tim Russert he viewed government funding of abortion as promotional of the practice.
“Are you still opposed to public funding for abortion?” Russert asked.
“I still am opposed to public funding for abortion,” Biden replied. “And the reason I am is, again, 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.”