Biden’s abortion shift tests the politics of his faith

Elana Schor
Associated Press

Joe Biden has so far faced little criticism over reversing his decades-long support for restricting federal funding of abortions – a sign that Catholic Democrats’ political calculus may be changing as the 2020 election approaches.

Biden’s change on abortion funding appeared to imperil the former vice president’s close ties to his fellow Catholics, particularly those in the Midwest, whose support could be critical to winning the Democratic primary and even more valuable in the general election.

In this April 29, 2016, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Pope Francis during a congress on the progress of regenerative medicine held at the Vatican. Biden has demonstrated a deep public connection to his Catholic faith, dating to the earliest days of his political career.

But polling shows Biden remains Catholic Democrats’ overwhelming favorite in the presidential field. And some Catholics are urging members of their faith to apply a “pro-life” ethic to other issues, suggesting that single-issue voting on abortion may be on the wane.