Friday, November 13, 2020 : By Nathan Skates
Official vote totals are still being counted to determine who will ultimately be the President of the United States on January 20, 2021, but one thing is clear: Joe Biden has a drastically different vision for America than Donald Trump.
Biden’s policy views have changed over the nearly five decades he has spent in politics. His plans for what he would do as president have moved to the left of what his stated views were even a few years ago. So given that, what exactly are his proposed policies on critical issues that concern conservatives — abortion, religious freedom, the Second Amendment, and COVID-19? Let’s walk through them.
President Trump was called the most pro-life President in history. What about Joe Biden?
Biden is pro-abortion and has become even more so over the last few years. One of Biden’s most well-known policy changes was on the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer money from being used to directly fund abortions. Biden previously supported the amendment but has since changed his stance, saying he could, “no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”
Biden’s abortion policy can be found on his campaign website under “healthcare.” Biden will restore federal (taxpayer) funding of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, which was caught selling dismembered parts of aborted babies. Biden will also rescind the Mexico City Policy so federal funds can be given to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
Biden says he will fight against the rights of states to place restrictions on abortion. His website says, “As president, Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion, such as so-called TRAP laws, parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements.”
That also means that if the Roe v. Wade decision was ever overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Biden would still try to force all states to allow unfettered abortion access. When Biden was asked at a townhall what he would do to protect abortion rights were Roe v. Wade to be overturned in the wake of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, he answered, “No. 1, we don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to…overrule Roe. The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”
Biden also seemed to indicate that he is in favor of abortion in any circumstance. After the Supreme Court found in June Medical Services v. Russo that placing hospital-admission requirements on abortion providers is unconstitutional, Biden said, “Women’s health care rights have been under attack as states across the country have passed extreme laws restricting women’s constitutional right to choice under any circumstance. Today the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that states cannot put in place laws that unduly burden a women’s right to make her own health care decision with her doctor.”
Kamala Harris, Biden’s choice for vice president, has received a 100 percent score from NARAL, a pro-choice organization, and has been referred to as “one of Planned Parenthood’s most vocal supporters.” Harris’s extreme pro-abortion positions are well-documented, leaving little doubt what a Biden-Harris administration means for the unborn.
The Obama-Biden administration infamously attacked the Little Sisters of the Poor for refusing to pay for contraceptives for their employees, as mandated under the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that the Catholic nuns believe that any use of contraceptives violates their religious tenets. When the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the organization, Biden responded, “Healthcare is a right that should not be dependent on race, gender, income, or ZIP code.”
Biden’s administration is opposed to exemptions based on religious conviction. Biden’s website says,
“Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. But states have inappropriately used broad exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, state and local government officials, and others to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. The Trump-Pence Administration has deliberately and systematically attempted to gut protections for the LGBTQ+ community by carving out broad religious exemptions to existing nondiscrimination laws and policies across federal agencies. Biden will reverse Trump’s policies misusing these broad exemptions and fight so that no one is turned away from a business or refused service by a government official just because of who they are or who they love.”
Biden told the Philadelphia Gay News, “We need to root out discrimination in our laws, institutions, and public spaces. Religion should not be used as a license to discriminate, and as president, I will oppose legislation to deny LGBTQ+ equal treatment in public places. I will immediately reverse discriminatory practices that Trump put in place and work to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people widely.”
What this means is that organizations and businesses will no longer be able to act on their religious convictions — and could very well be forced to violate them.
Biden is also opposed to religious exemptions for faith-based adoption and foster care agencies. His website states, “Many government-funded foster care and adoption agencies still discriminate against LGBTQ+ families.”
An example of this supposed discrimination can be found in the current Supreme Court case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. In this case, the City of Philadelphia is barring Catholic Social Services from continuing adoption and foster care services because the organization will not place children with homosexual couples. A homosexual couple has never tried to foster or adopt through the agency, and there have been no complaints filed against the agency. What’s more, there are other organizations through which homosexual couples can adopt and foster. Still, the city is targeting Catholic Social Services for its long-held religious views.
Laura Bryant Hanford succinctly summarized Biden’s gargantuan “Plan to Advance LGBTQ+ Equality in America and Around the World” by writing that it will:
Biden pledges that he “will make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority.” The so-called Equality Act will be disastrous for religious liberty. The bill “prohibits the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 from providing a claim, defense, or basis for challenging” non-discrimination protections based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
This means that people like Colorado baker Jack Phillips would be forced to violate their religious convictions. In his case, he would be required to make a custom wedding cake for a gay wedding.
As if his views on the issue weren’t clear enough, Biden, while speaking to the Human Rights Campaign in 2018, attacked those with religious objections, saying: “Despite losing in the courts and in the court of public opinion, these forces of intolerance remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress you all have made. This time they, not you, have an ally in the White House.”
He continued, “They’re a small percentage of the American people, virulent people, some of them the dregs of society.”
Joe Biden’s website calls for major restrictions on 2nd Amendment rights, including a ban on “assault” weapons and background checks on all gun sales.
He has reiterated his position in numerous interviews and even doubled down on it. For example, when CNN host Andersen Cooper asked, “So, to gun owners out there who say, ‘Well, a Biden administration means they’re going to come for guns?’” Biden responded, “Bingo! You’re right, if you have an ‘assault weapon.’ The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period.”
Biden’s stated plans do little to assuage fears that guns are in his crosshairs. One of his primary objectives is to ban “high capacity” magazines. What Biden defines as “high capacity” is unclear, but a previous statement causes concern. He stated that it was “mind-blowing” that we don’t have bans on “magazines that can have multiple bullets in them.” The word “multiple” can indicate as few as two, so one would hope that this was just another of Biden’s gaffes and he doesn’t really want to restrict citizens to single-shot weapons like muskets from the 1700s. Given his position on other 2nd amendment issues, the remark does little to instill confidence.
Biden will also move to ban the manufacturing of “assault weapons,” which include modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15, and will amend the National Firearms Act of 1934 to “regulate possession of existing assault weapons.” Under the Act, Biden would institute a federal buyback program, giving gun owners the choice to sell the gun to the government or register it under the Firearms Act.
Biden also supports restricting the number of firearms a person can purchase to one per month. All would-be gun owners would also have to pass a background check before purchasing any firearms.
A Biden administration would support red-flag laws across the country and would also prohibit anyone deemed mentally unfit or anyone “who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime, or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission” from purchasing a firearm.
Biden would also “enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts”; incentivize state licensing laws for gun ownership; and mandate and regulate how guns are stored inside of private homes.
Biden repeatedly stated in the Presidential debates that he had a plan to fight COVID-19, so what exactly is his plan?
Well, as it turns out, it’s a lot like the one Trump has been putting in place all year. Biden calls for increased testing, ramping up efforts to produce a vaccine and therapeutics, utilizing telehealth, and deploying Department of Defense medical and logistical resources — all steps that the Trump administration has been putting in place since March.
One major difference between Biden and Trump is Biden’s support for a national mask mandate. “It’s time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask-wearing and social distancing. The single most effective thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID: Wear a mask,” said Biden.
Biden previously favored a national mask mandate by executive order but later admitted that was unconstitutional. He has since stated that he would ask all state governors to implement mask mandates.
Despite his plan, Biden has been highly critical of “how” President Trump has carried out his COVID-19 plan. President Trump claimed for months that a vaccine could be produced by the end of the year while the media, Democrat politicians, and experts said it would “take a miracle” to develop, test, and produce a vaccine by the end of the year. NBC even “fact-checked” the President, citing experts who claimed the best-case scenario would be at least a year to 18 months to develop a vaccine.
In the second Presidential debate, Biden even said even if a vaccine was developed by the Trump administration, he did not trust that it would be safe or effective.
But just days after the election, Pfizer announced that, as part of its work under the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, it had produced a COVID-19 vaccine shown to be 90 percent effective in trials, well above the 50 percent rate required by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company expects to seek broad emergency use authorization before the end of the year. Despite his earlier statements, Biden praised the news as a “breakthrough.”
One key point is that Biden’s plan will force insurance companies to pay for all COVID-related expenses, while under the Trump Administration, the federal government has been covering a lot of the costs. Biden’s plan emphasizes free COVID testing, claiming that no one will have to pay for a COVID test. The plan also claims that “every person, whether insured or uninsured, will not have to pay a dollar out-of-pocket for visits related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, preventative services, and any eventual vaccine. No co-payments, no deductibles, and no surprise medical billing.”
It is ironic that Biden’s primary campaign issue was COVID-19 considering that this was the one issue where his ideas were most closely aligned with those of Trump.
On other important issues such as abortion, religious freedom, and gun rights, however, the two are polar opposites. If the reported election results hold, Christians and conservatives can expect a very different four years under Biden than what they had under Trump.